Category Archives: Savannah

Ultra Chat #4 with Joseph Hillenbrand

What I have learned from being friends with Joe, is that all things are relative. Like the fact that he told me that the North Face Endurance Challenge course in Pine Mountain, GA was easy. Little did I know, “easy” equated to scaling rocks the size of freakin’ couches. Apparently we have varying opinions on ‘easy’ runs vs. ‘hard’ runs.

And another neat fact about Joe– he “has awesome beards”….that sometimes become shaped like a monkey tail on his face. And sadly, no photographic evidence of that for you!

So on that note… let’s welcome Joe 😉


Quick little bio (when did you start running):

Started running and playing sports as long back as I can remember, got into the ultra running scene probably about 3 years ago.

Brag Time (race you are most proud of, show off your times, winning a race etc):

I always enjoy a race whether I come in 1st or dead last. If I had to pick a race I am most proud of it would be when I beat Don Piper in the 1 mile around the track when I was 11….Don was the fastest kid in school haha.


{and because this is my blog and I can chime in too– the above photo (dude on right in blue) is Joe about to cross the finish line at Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Full Marathon for a 2nd place finish!}

What is your favorite Ultra you have done?

My favorite ultra I have ever done was probably the Tussey Mountain Back USATF 50 mile championship race. It is just a really nice fast course, with rolling hills and nice single track.

How many miles a week on average do you run while training for a 50K? Do you alter your training for 100 mile + races? If yes, how so?

My training dosen’t really change depending on which race I’m am running. I keep a base of around 70-80 mpw and I will try and hit at least one or two 100+ mile weeks before a race.

What is your favorite gear to wear while running? Shoes, apparel, headlamp etc.

Favorite gear while running are 3 inch splits (shorts), a trucker hat, and a beard. Plus Adidas Adios shoes.

Joe H

Ultras usually have a good spread of food for the athletes. What do you intake during your race?

I find that during a race the more crap I eat the better I do. The last ultra I did all I drank was coke and all I ate was mini fudge rounds and I felt great!!! Honey Stingers work for me on training runs.

What are your running goals for 2013?

Goals for 2013 is getting my knee back to normal. I have been sidelined for almost 2 months with a pesky knee injury which will probably result in surgery and another 2 months of rehab. I certainly know that in 2013 I will never take a injury free training day for granted.


Thanks Joe for concluding our Ultra chat for this time!

I hope everyone has a great race on Saturday… I’ll be at Aide Station 3 to cheer y’all on!

I hope you all have learned from these guys this week. I know that they are a wealth of knowledge and will help anyone interested in trying out ultras. I know that when I embark on that next step (once my knee is cleared), I have quite a bit of ‘experts’ onto reach out to! Thanks guys!!

And yes, maybe next time I’ll feature the ladies, because there are a ton of awesome chicks that beat the guys on the course. So… stay tuned for future posts!

Ultra Chat #3 with Chris Ramsey

Hey Y’all! Welcome to day #3 of Ultra Chats in preparation for this weekend’s Inaugural event!  Did you miss TIM and DAN? Check them out too!

Today we have another special guest, Chris Ramsey. Chris is a common face at Fleet Feet Savannah, as well as, all the local races. Whenever anyone comes into Fleet Feet, Chris puts the customer at ease with his knowledge and personality. And I know where Chris gets his speed from…. at an 8k race in December, his sweet mama ran right past us with ease. Speed must run in the family 😉

So without more of me rambling…. here is Chris!


Quick little bio (when did you start running, do you like long walks on the beach… yada yada):

I’m petty sure I’ve been running since I was strong enough to stand; I think it’s a combination of truly enjoying it, as well as being terribly impatient. Besides running, I also enjoy spending time with my family and dog…and not necessarily in that order. 🙂

Brag Time (race you are most proud of, show off your times, winning a race etc):

2012 was a good year for me; I’m really happy/proud that I was able to balance my ultra training (15:35:58 at Umstead) with speed work (15:43 Shamrock 5K), PRs in both distances.

What is your favorite Ultra you have done?

Burning River (the USATF 100 Mile Trail Championship), in Cleveland/Akron, Ohio; it’s not the fastest course, but it’s beautiful and challenging (and the volunteer support/help is second to none).

Rock n Roll Chris - 2011

How many miles a week on average do you run while training for a 50K? Do you alter your training for 100 mile + races? If yes, how so?

I train very differently for a 50K than I do a 100 mile race; I suppose it’s primarily because I take the 100 mile distance a lot more “seriously” than I do the 50K distance (i.e. I generally use 50Ks as tune-ups for longer races, so although I’d like to do well in them, I don’t train specifically for them). During 100 mile race training, I typically try and tackle 50+ miles a week; anything more than that and I run out of time and feel as though I’m heaping more punishment on my body than is necessary.

What is your favorite gear to wear while running? Shoes, apparel, headlamp etc

Brooks gear is usually my go-to in both training and races, with two caveats: Asics makes a 5-pocket short that I always wear during any long distance race (due to it’s storage capacity) and either Adidas or Swiftwick socks. I also swear by CEP compression sleeves.


Ultras usually have a good spread of food for the athletes. What do you intake during your race?

Boiled potatoes, broth-based soups, salt tabs, PowerBar/Honey Stinger gels, Gatorade, and Endurox (a protein drink).

What are your running goals for 2013?

Without a focus-race near enough to “scare” me into training, my miles have really dropped off the last month and a half. But with the New Year approaching, so too approaches Delirium (a February race where I’m aiming to tick off 50 miles in 6 hours) and Umstead (100 miles in early April; I’d be ecstatic if I could go sub-15 hours this go-round), so my training should ratchet up significantly.


Thank you Chris for helping us out today! I hope 2013 treats you well!

Ultra Chat with Dan Hernandez

Welcome to Day Two of the Ultra Chat on Victoria Runs! Did you miss Tim from yesterday? Make sure to check him out as well!

So today I have another gem in our Savannah Running community. I met Dan about two years ago when we all met up to run the bridge. I remember telling my mom that I was meeting a group of three other runners for a Sunday run. She, of course, was excited for the run part… just not the fact that I was meeting three randoms off of Twitter. I assured her I wasn’t going to get shoved into a truck and that there was chocolate cake for post-run at Gallery Espresso.

Thankfully, it was all running & cake 😉

But in all seriousness, Dan is amazing! When not running, he is out at local runs to take photos for his blog & Savannah Running facebook page.  He is such a motivator and appreciates all runners, not just the wicked fast ones! He is so supportive that he is leading the efforts for the Ledesma Sports Medicine Inaugural Ultra, that is occurring this weekend.

So let’s say HI to Dan….


Quick little bio (when did you start running, do you like long walks on the beach… yada yada):

I’ve been consistently running for the past twelve years. Before that my passions were cycling (mountain and road), rock climbing and backpacking. I like long walks on the beach at day time and night time. In the last twenty years I’ve had four dogs, – three Australian Shepherds, one pug. All of the dogs I’ve had have been active participants in my adventures (except for cycling).

superdan2008 (1)

Brag Time (race you are most proud of, show off your times, winning a race etc):

The race I’m most proud of is the 2008 Boulder 100. That was my first venture into ultra running and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My goal was to finish the race in 24 hours; my hope was to at least make the 30 hour cut-off time. I limped across the finish line in 24 hours 7 minutes having finished to my surprise in third place overall. And, I trained for only 3 months.

My longest race to date prior to the Boulder 100 was a half marathon. The Boulder 100 was a big event for me not because of the distance covered but because I was running on behalf of a friend of mine, Cindy Randi, who had been stricken with cancer three times. The purpose of this run was to help raise funds for the financial burden three bouts with cancer had left her with. I called this campaign “100 for Cindy”.

I raised almost $8000.00 for her. I’m most proud of this race because I did this for someone else and never lost site of the purpose of this race even during my darkest moment in the race when I wanted to quit, it was then that I was reminded why I was doing this and that kept me putting one foot in front of the other until I crossed the finish line.

Here is the link to the boulder 100 2008 race results:

What is your favorite Ultra you have done?

I guess the Boulder 100 although, I never plan to run that one again but it was my first and the purpose for doing it was significant. So, it will always be special because of it being the first and because it was for my friend, Cindy.

How many miles a week on average do you run while training for a 50K? Do you alter your training for 100 mile + races? If yes, how so?

I run approximately 40 miles per week for 50ks and everything below that.

I’ve only run one 100 miler but I’m training for another 100 miler (Delirium 24 hour race). My approach the first time and again this time is not so much about mileage accumulated per week but the amount of time spent on my feet during a run.

I cannot speak for anyone else but my experience is that running a 100 miles in one shot is about dealing and enduring discomfort both physical and mental during that venture. My body is going to ache and my mind is going to want to make me quit at some point during the race. Knowing that I can push through all of the physical discomfort and the mental anguish is how I’m going to complete this distance. And, the only way that I can prepare for that assault that will most certainly come at some point after 50 miles into the run will be in knowing that I’ve been there before. So, I will have two long…very long runs prior to race day. Those two training runs will be 12 to 15 hour runs. I’m doing one of those runs in one week and the other on January 19th.


What is your favorite gear to wear while running? Shoes, apparel, headlamp etc.

I’m a minimalist runner – the less the better. For shoes, I like the spyridon ls by Vibram. I also like the NB Minimus.

Ultras usually have a good spread of food for the athletes. What do you intake during your race?

Pretty much anything! Bagels, sub-marine sandwiches with lots of spinach, bananas, potatoes, chopped celery with canned salmon wraps, coffee, water, succeed caps, cheetos, doritos, flat soda pop, almonds, cookies.

What are your running goals for 2013?

Completing 100 miles in less than 24 hours during the delirium 24 hour race.
I’m sure I’ll sign up for a number of 10ks, half-marathons, 50ks and such through-out the year but I just focus on one race at a time.

Anything else you want to add:

In my words, Run Strong, Run Happy
In Micah True’s words: Run Free!


I am sure you can see why Dan is another badass in my mind. Plus, the ultra food spread…. mmmm! Who doesn’t want to run 26.2+ now!?!

Ultra Chat with Tim Waz

Ultra Runners… Are flippin’ hardcore!

With the Inaugural Ledesma Sports Medicine Savannah Rails to Trails occurring this weekend, I wanted to give y’all a glimpse into ultra running. But I obviously can not attest to the endurance, time spent running, and nutrition; so I asked four of my friends to help answer some questions about journeying beyond 26.2!


Today, I bring you my friend, Tim with Low Country Ultras. I first met Tim via twitter (@TimWaz) so I could help with one of the Ultras that Low Country was hosting. Tim has been a great resource to running (any distance) and is an all-around great guy.

So let’s see what Tim has to say about Ultra Running:

Quick little Bio (ie when did you start running, do you like long walks on the beach… etc):

I started running in the third grade, forced by our PE teachers to run the Presidential Fitness Challenge Mile. I traded three laps around the school (and some lemonade and Donuts) for a lifetime of running and racing. I ran through High School and then at USC in college, the Knoxville Track Club before getting into Ultra Running in 2009.

Brag Time! What are you most proud of in your running career?

1. The first time I beat my older, and faster brother! Running through High School and College, I literally ran in the shadows of my Florida State Champ and all US American Team brother Eric. It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I had the race of my life and finally beat him. Now of course there’s some story out there that he tripped, broken a rib, got kidnapped or something. But a win is a win!!!

2. My first sub 2:45 Marathon. All my PR’s have always been in the rain and the first time I ran a sub 2:45 at the Disney World Marathon there was more than its fair share! About this time in my running career, I began training and racing in “flats” getting on board with a more minimal running program before it’s big BOOM this decade. Running and racing in the same shoe just felt right, I didn’t understand the mechanics of it then, but it worked and I was running further and faster than ever before.

3. Fast forward 10 plus years and two kids later, running took on a new meaning in my life. It was now a love that I wanted to share with my kids. I began racing local 5k, pushing both kids in a BOB stroller and loved it! The first time the three of us crossed the finish line in first place together was just AWESOME!

What is your favorite Ultra you have done?

My favorite Ultra was my first Ultra… the Mad Marsh 50K in Beaufort, SC. The race at the time was put on by “Ultra Becky” and East Coast Ultra. I signed up for the race because of the appeal of the 4.5 mile loop course. I was not in “Ultra” shape and was just looking to complete as many laps as possible. Going into that race my longest run was no more than 10 miles and I was averaging less than 40 miles per week at the time. I wasn’t planning on becoming an “ultra runner” but was looking for a new adventure. I ran the whole 31 mile and never even noticed when I crossed over pass the 26.2 mark (the mental “wall” of Ultras). The second I crossed the finish line I was hooked, ready to try more and longer. When I went home that afternoon, I start Lowcountry Ultras focused on promoting Ultra Running in Georgia and South Carolina. Over the last 3 years we have grown our race portfolio to include 7 Ultra races and are now going to be taking over the 2013 Mad Marsh 50k!


How many miles a week on average do you run while training for a 50K? Do you alter your training for 100 mile + races? If yes, how so?

Healthy race training for me typically hoovers between 65-80 miles per week. My training will change based off which races I am ramping up for i.e. if I am training for a 50k I will spread my weekly base out over 7 days, but if I am training for a 100+ I’ll run back-to-back-to-back long runs of 25+ miles to get my body use to running through the fatigue and lactic acid build up. I don’t typically taper leading into an event but I will use the race towards my total weekly mileage.

What is your favorite gear to wear while running? Shoes, apparel, headlamp etc.

1. Shoes: Anything by Brooks – Grit, Flow, Connect, Cascadia

2. Apparel: I’m less is more kind of guy so typically its Brooks HVAC Synergy Running short and that’s usually it… unless it cold and I’ll throw on a tank top!

3. Headlamp: BlackDiamond Sprinter Headlamp – Think car headlight bright with a 12 hour recyclable battery. Very light weight and comfortable its the perfect headlamp for night time running

4. SOCKS: Swiftwick and NOTHING else! Amazing sock made in the USA I LOVE LOVE LOVE these socks!!!

Ultras usually have a good spread of food for the athletes. What do you intake during your race?

I try to eat through out the entire event grabbing something small at each aid station. I have been trying to stay away from Gels as they just don’t sit well for me late in a race and try to stick to real foods such as Rice Bars, Bananas, PB&J sandwiches and my favorite… SOUP!

What are your running goals for 2013?

I have a few goals for 2013:
1. Run 120+ miles at the Delirium Ultra in Feb

2. Get into the Barkley Marathon (a 100+ mile race in TN.. GOOGLE it, its just plain nasty!)

3. Break the course record for the Viaduct 200 of 73:48:12

4. Stay Healthy, I was injured for most of 2012 so I am training a lot smarter this year!

There you have it, Tim Waz!! So if you are running the Ultra this weekend in Savannah, make sure to say HI to Tim! And want to run this race? You still have time to register for the 5k, 25k, or 50k! Registration closes on Wednesday!!

Holiday Lights Run & Challenge

A lot of fun things have been happening over the past few weeks…. and one in particular that mixed running, Christmas, and fun!

I had organized a run through the ‘Festival of Lights’ for last night. Being that social media is the best thing ever, we had about 60 people show up throughout the run. Some did a pre-run of 2 miles, some did a double pre-run, and some just joined us for the run through the Lights!

hoiliday lights 7

I tried to use my headlamp to act as the ‘lighting’, because the flash kept blinding everyone with all the reflective gear on 😉

holiday lights 2

Everyone had a great time running, celebrating the season, and drinking hot cocoa! This little gathering may become something bigger for next year 😉 And don’t worry, I’ll let y’all know our plans!


Savannah Friends– remember the give-a-way for the Alive in Savannah 5k or 10k is still going on! CLICK HERE to enter! You have until 5pm on 12/23 to enter!


And on a separate note–  The 1,000 Miles for 100 Smiles Challenge is up and going! Make sure to register to help kick off your New Year with a healthy vision!

1000 Miles for 100 Smiles

Oh and the charity…. Camp Ukandu is seriously the best place in the world. As a counselor for the past few years, I have witnessed kids overcome fears and find comfort in those who are currently battling cancer just like them.

To enter the challenge, a $10 donation is suggested. But of course, you may give more 😉

I will also be using this platform to fundraise for all my 2013 races!


(edited to add)

I have been featured on two fabulous blogs over this week!

Check out Mile Posts and Savannah Running! Thanks you two!!

Alive in Savannah Race Give-a-way

I have another great race entry for my local readers! The Alive in Savannah 5k & 10k which is on New Years Eve beginning at 5:30pm at the Westin. I can’t think of a better way to ring in 2013, than by running before your evening starts!

I will be there to do the 10k, so who wants to join me? For FREE!!

fancy dress

I mean, who wouldn’t want to run with me (or ahead of me!) before I get all snazzied up!

Thankfully, the folks at the event reached out and is providing THREE FREE entries in honor of  ‘Steve White’. Steve is the race director for another local race and all the race fees from that event go towards his families adoption efforts through ‘Empty Arms campaign’.

To enter please leave a comment below. You will have until December 23rd at 5pm to leave your comment! And if you share it, please leave a separate comment so you are entered in twice!

Please don’t enter unless you know you are willing to hold off on your party clothes til a little later that evening 😉

Memory Run for Emma Blu

Happy Monday! I have another post in ‘draft’ mode that reviews the fun shenanigans of the weekend. Christmas parties, The Color Vibe Run and time with friends.

But I feel that what happened on Sunday afternoon from around 3:30-5pm is truly special and deserves it’s own post.

A few weeks ago, one of the runners in our group had to endure something no parent should; her 4 year-old daughter passed away.  Too young, too soon.

An email went out from one of the other coaches to let us all know. And that’s when wheels were turning…. what can runners do to help a family during this time?

We Run.

The Memory Run for Emma Blu was born. And with the power of social media, over 1,500 found out about it!

For an “informal” 5k, we had a blast! No timing chips, no official swag bag or hardcore course. Just 200+ runners, walkers, and community members coming together to show a family and the Low Country Down Syndrome Society that we care.

We came together and raised $3,910!! What an awesome surprise!

And to the behind the scenes group: Mareesa, Lindsay, Lydia, Marian, Nancy, Sherry, Teresa, Michelle, Coach Jane, Mike, Jay and all the other CREWbies!! And thank you to those that donated raffle prizes: Byrd Cookie Company, Uncle Bubba’s , Emily Jane Rich Jewelry (plus Sherry who rounded up an awesome selection too!).

And thanks to Robert, owner of Fleet Feet Savannah, for helping out with so much!

All monies went to help the Low Country Down Syndrome Society with their local programs. For more information on LCDSS, click HERE!

Color Vibe Savannah WINNERS

Thank you all for entering the Color Vibe give-a-way!!

The winners are  based on the # by your comment entered into a Random Number Generator… because that’s how I roll.  The winners are….

{drum roll}

#5– Shiloh W.

#16- Deborah D.

Please email me at victoriaruns1(at)gmail(dot)com to get your code!

And thanks for ignoring my random number generator… I had to take a photo of my screen. Yep. That fancy 😉

Color Vibe Savannah Race Entry Give-a-way

New to running? Or a ‘tried-but-true’ looking to shake things up? Want to try a FUN 5k? And live in Savannah?

Look no further…. two of my lucky readers are going to get hooked up with a free race entry!

Savannah is about to get inundated with color and fun on Saturday, December 8th! If you haven’t heard of The Color Vibe Run and it’s inaugural race, you must be living under a social media rock! In layman terms, it is a 5k that is un-timed with different color stations that make you go from drab to color-fab!! And don’t worry about it staining all over you…. it’s only colored cornstarch.

Based on their other runs around the country; most runners/joggers/walkers show up in white tops and 80’s sunglasses. I feel like this is my type of race! And it is kid friendly, so pack up the mini-me’s and go!

Haven’t registered yet and want to run for FREE?

Leave a comment below and get entered into win one of two race entries! Winner must be available on Saturday, December 8th for the run and live within driving distance of Savannah, GA {and be willing to drive, because I sure ain’t picking up your butt}!

I will pick the winner tomorrow morning by a random number generator…. super fancy 😉 You will be notified by email!

30th Birthday Recap- Days 1-3

So I tried to let it pass softly on the blog… by giving it a one liner on THIS POST at the very end. I’m sure some of you are happy you don’t have the pleasure of seeing me everyday and hearing about my 30th birthday. Because if you did, you would probably do something like this:

Yes. That would be a ‘Tired Old Piece’ basket. Otherwise known as the TOP goodie basket. So if you need to check if you are in menopause, let me know…. I can hook you up 😉 Thanks to my friends at work for the endless laughs for this!

But before my actual birthday (Monday), my dad treated the hubs and I to dinner at a place I have been wanting to go to for a long time. Surprisingly, I haven’t had a client dinner there.

Alligator Soul is an exquisite restaurant that changes their menu seasonally to reflect local flavors and flare. They also have an exotic meat of the day. On Sunday, it was kangaroo. Since it was prepared shepards pie style, I opted to not dine on it and go with the vegetarian meal (and I have had the ‘roo before while in Australia before, so I wasn’t missing out!).

Before we dined on our entree, we chose the Artisan Cheese Platter which was spot on. I loved the array of cheeses and accoutrements that went along with them. Pairing that with my Riesling from the Mosel region of Germany and I was one happy {almost} 30 year old.

I must say that I was highly impressed with the Chef’s choice for the vegetarian meal. Usually its just a plate of pasta and veggies. OH NO! They created a masterpiece of lentils, flaky pastry filled with tempeh, veggies, and spices. It was all presented like a painting.

A painting I didn’t take a photo of for evidence.

And for dessert, I had the Banana Beignets with the most amazing soft vanilla bean ice cream. While my dad had locally made truffles from Chocolat by Adam Turoni on Broughton St.

I can’t say enough about Alligator Soul! Our waitress was knowledgeable and remembered my dad’s food allergy the whole way through our dining experience. I can’t wait until my mom is able to come back with my dad, so we can all go back. Who knows what the exotic meat of the day will be next time?

{and transition back to a normal blogger and not a ‘food’ blogger. whew.}

And then on Monday, my 30th happened…. hubs cooked a fabulous dinner which I requested (spaghetti squash with marina & mozzarella) and I got to open presents!! Not only are presents that are thoughtful great, but useful presents are even better. I ran out of my perfume months ago… so I have been hinting about it for a while. I guess he picked up what I have been laying down 😉 Plus my Oakleys bit the dust. Never fear, Ray Bans are here!! And no birthday is complete without something fun, right? So the big box is a ‘create your own gingerbread house’. And anyone that knows me, knows I am cray cray about Christmas. More on that later….

So there I was last night eating a caramel apple, drinking wine and watching the Election results…

Counting down the hours until Saturday night when it will be the OFFICIAL 30th Celebration. So yes, this will be a 7 day celebration.

How do you celebrate a big birthday?