Sean O’Brien 50

5 February 2014 2 Comments Category: Uncategorized

Photo: Jayme Burtis. Early miles with Josh Arthur

It’s no secret that I love SoCal.  My streak of racing successes in the area is as mysterious to me as it is to anyone else.  I’m fully aware that my good fortune will run out at some point, but I’m sure it won’t deter me from continuing to return to race on the beautiful trails that exist in the greater Los Angeles area.

North Face 50

11 December 2013 8 Comments Category: Uncategorized

Photo: Galen Burrell

It was a dark but clear and cold morning that greeted us in the Marin Headlands on Saturday.  Given last year’s weather conditions and the fluctuating forecast in the days leading up to this year’s edition, we all agreed that it was pretty much a perfect day for the annual bloodbath that is The North Face 50 Mile Championship.  Though hype was at an all time high, the pace felt downright civilized for the first several miles.  Predictably, Cam Clayton went off the front with a long string of us chasing from a safe distance in the pre-dawn darkness.  I ran with Mike Wolfe and Jorge Maravilla up the serpentining Heather Cutoff Trail until we caught the chase group halfway up the longest climb of the day.

Bootlegger 50k

14 November 2013 4 Comments Category: Racing, Running

When most people go to Vegas, the last things on their minds are exercising and physical health.  Though I’d long heard of the impressive trail system in the area, I’ll admit, until this past weekend, all my visits have been filled with less than wholesome activities.  It was nice to be able to change that up last weekend with my participation in the Bootlegger 50k.  Maybe I’m finally getting a little more mature and responsible?

It is with great sadness and disappointment that I must officially declare myself out of this week’s Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc.  It’s frequently said in running that arriving healthy at the start line is often the hardest part of the entire endeavor.  This somewhat tired truism has unfortunately become a stark reality for me since arriving in the Alps almost two weeks ago.

Western States 100

9 July 2013 11 Comments Category: Racing

Photo: Michigan Bluff Photography

I am happy.  Though my race at Western States included many hours of absolute misery, the main emotion I feel in retrospect is one of love.  I love my family.  I love my fellow competitors.   I love the feeling of suffering for a purpose.  I love the contentment of crossing the damn finish line and achieving a goal.  I love the grind of training that brings out the best in me everyday.  Without question, Western States 2013 was the most difficult and uncomfortable race of my life.  Ironically, more than ever, I love this sport and the people that make it so special.