Martin Schneekloth, a fellow Altra Red Team member, will be joining me on the show today.
Martin is currently in the process of completing the “Last Great Race” which is a challenge that few attempt and even fewer finish.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Martin Schneekloth today.
No “Bad” Days
Martin Schneekloth prefers to run the 100-mile distance because there is always so much to learn.
It is nearly impossible to have a “bad” day when he is in the mountains.
Martin is clearly an ultra runner through and through now but he didn’t always embrace running while growing up.
Prior to being an adult, Martin identified as a soccer player and viewed running as a punishment.
It wasn’t until his early 30’s that Martin began to run as a way to stay fit.
Running was the perfect sport for his hectic life and long hours at work.
It didn’t take long for Martin to begin training for his first marathon.
Martin finished his first full but it wasn’t without its challenges and immediately Martin knew he could do better.
Unique Training Plan
It was during training for his second marathon that Martin completed his first ultra.
Local runners told him about a 50k race taking place a month out from his goal race.
Martin was unsure of what to expect but that didn’t deter him from signing up.
The race was far from ideal and he had a rough race from mile 24 to the finish.
The painful experience would have turned many people off from ultras, but Martin is unique in that way.
He was hooked from that moment and has been running ultras for the last 10 years.
It was only 2 years into Martin’s running journey when he decided to attempt his first 100-mile race.
It took him 2 attempts at the 100-mile distance before he was able to successfully cross the finish line.
The Last Great Race
For the last 5 years, Martin had been entering the Western States lottery with no luck until 2019.
Once Martin was officially signed up to run the Western States 100 a friend encouraged him to try doing the Grand Slam.
The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning is a set of 4 of the 5 most prestigious and oldest 100-mile races in the United States.
Around the same time, Martin also came across an article about the Last Great Race.
The Last Great Race is a challenge that consists of running the first six 100-milers in the United States in a 3 month period.
Martin was immediately intrigued by the challenge and committed to getting into all 6 races in 2019.
The majority of races in the challenge are via lottery entry only and Martin admittedly got very lucky in entering the races.
Martin is only one of 2 men that are attempting the challenge this year.
Let The Body Be The Guide
According to Martin when preparing for the Last Great Race there is no real way to train.
Each race differs in the terrain and elevation challenges presented to the runners.
Martin chose to approach it by training as he would for one 100 mile race.
The only difference is that after each 100, he is going into recovery/taper mode until the next race.
It was during the first of his six 100 mile races that his watch died early on and he was forced to listen to his body.
After this moment, Martin relied 100% on letting his body guide him through the races and recovery.
The mental aspect influences his outcomes just as much as the physical part.
It is important to remember why you’re doing the race and remind yourself of it often.
Finish Line Is In Sight
When attempting any challenge Martin always has a minimum of 2 goals with a maximum of 3.
His “C” goal is always to finish regardless of how the rest of the race goes.
Currently, Martin has finished five of his six 100 mile races but some of them have challenged Martin more than others.
The first 3 races, Old Dominion, Western States, and Vermont 100, went as well or better than Martin expected.
It was during his 4th race, Angeles Crest 100, that Martin first feared he may not complete the challenge.
Unusually hot temperatures threatened his progress, but with the help of amazing volunteers, he was able to finish.
Leadville 100 was his 5th race and it was the change in altitude that posed a challenge.
Martin’s sixth and final race, Wasatch 100, is rapidly approaching and he is ready for anything that can be thrown his way.
Stop The Clot
Martin hasn’t always been the picture of perfect health.
At the end of 2012, Martin injured his ankle and a misdiagnosis of his injury almost led to his death.
The misdiagnosis led to Martin having blood clots that were life-threatening.
After a hospital stay and some good luck, he was able to resume his normal activities.
This near-death experience has made Martin passionate about educating others on blood clots and how to prevent them.
Athletes can be more susceptible to blood clots and being aware of key prevention tips can mean the difference between life or death.
- Compression socks should always be part of a recovery routine.
- Hydrate frequently. Dehydration can make one more susceptible to clots.
- Don’t sit for long periods of time. Get up and move every hour.
- Swelling below the knee should always be checked out by a medical professional.
The experience of almost having his life cut short has since made Martin even more passionate about living life to the fullest.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- National Blood Clot Alliance
- Old Dominion
- Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run
- Vermont 100
- Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run
- Leadville Trail 100 Run
- Wasatch 100
- Grand Slam Of Ultrarunning
Martin Schneekloth is one of the few people to attempt the Last Great Race. The daunting feat to complete six 100 mile races in just 3 months is a challenge few attempt and even fewer finish. Click To Tweet
As Always, I’d Love to Know What Stood Out to You From this Episode! Let Me Know Your Takeaway in the Comments Below!
Want to Support the Continued Growth & Production of the Show?
Check out the support page for ideas and suggestions of ways you can help me grow the show. And remember, not all support involves money. Some of the best ways you can show your support are 100% free.
Subscribe to the Show
Never miss another episode of the Diz Runs Radio by subscribing to the show, and for my fellow Apple fans out there, it’s never been easier now that the podcast app is native on the new operating system. iPhone/iPod/iPad users click here. Android users click here. SoundCloud users click here.
Please Give Me Some Feedback!
Take the 6 question listener survey to help me shape the future of this podcast.
Register for a Free Race Training Plan
Join The Tribe!
There’s always room for more members of the tribe! Both the Facebook group and the email group provide opportunities that can’t be found anywhere else. The Facebook group is still small, but it is a great way to connect with fellow runners and foster community amongst like-minded individuals. The email group is THE way to stay up to date about future guests on the show, as well as getting some other freebies and offers that aren’t available to anyone else. If you’ve got questions about either/both, just let me know!