I’ve spent hours and hours re living my 100 mile race. Tears of joy and sadness have run down my face. Writing what happened has brought back some tough memories from my past. Most of the hours I’ve spent writing have been filled with tears and pain… I have analyzed every minute of every hour of Buffalo Run and I have the most epic story to tell. Unfortunately the race experience must live within me for now. The lessons I learned have been priceless. The race experience is most epic. But right now the words I’ve written don’t tell the story in the proper way… I will leave you with the two most important lessons…


And yes, the hours felt like days… At one point I screamed at Leah for about 20 minutes because my watch “wasn’t moving” for about 2 hours… Indeed I was just moving that slow.

But I learned 2 things during my 100-

  1. I have the best friend in the world. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else with me those last 13 miles because she never judged me or quit on me and I never had a doubt she would leave me even in my darkest moments. She was literally my punching bag for several hours and I know I verbally abused her several times over the last 13 miles. A couple times I could hear her footsteps get a little farther behind me so I could vent and have some space, but soon after I calmed down I would hear them get closer and with a soft and polite voice I would hear “are you done yet?”.
  2. I hold a lot of stuff back. I am angry about a lot of things. I’m sad about a lot of things. The last 6 months have been absolute torture for me physically and mentally and I will never be able to talk anyone, but I could tell the trails. I’m not a spiritual person, but when I came back from Utah, I was a different person. I reconciled a lot of things in my own mind and within myself. There is no reason I should have finished my race. I wasn’t physically prepared for it. But I found a part of me that day that I knew I had in me but didn’t believe was really there. I found another part of me I had forgotten was there. I found the person I am and that I’m supposed to be. They say that we have to risk going too far to find out just how far we can go and by pushing myself to the limit I found myself that day. I found myself in all the glory. I found myself in all the pain. I found greatest self in my weakest moment. In my darkest moments I found my light.

I needed this 100. I haven’t been myself. Heck, I hit a spot when I didn’t even know who I was. I left a part of me on Antelope Island… I’m hoping I can leave the last part of me in Leadville.. I hope I can leave the behind the man that stares at me in the mirror every day. The man that holds me back. I hope one day soon I can out run the man in the mirror I’ve been trying to get rid of for the last 4 years…

The air is a little more crisp just before dawn. It is darkest just before the light.

The sun will rise just after the 25 hour cutoff in Leadville on August 20th

I will finish in the dark and be given a fresh start in Leadville. At sunrise I will know we have zero limits. I have no other choice…Some people will be routing against me. Others will be cheering me on. There will be people counting on me. But most importantly, there will be a fresh face awaiting me in the mirror as the sun peers over the beautiful mountain tops…

Published by Gary Stotler

Gary Stotler is a father, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Formally 400 pounds, Gary has naturally lost 200 pounds, created a coaching & speaking business and has become a 100 mile ultra-runner. Holding a degree in Psychology & Sociology, certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, mindset & behavioral modification coaching, a certification in DISC personality assessment coaching and he is a certified speaker, coach & mentor with the John Maxwell Team. Gary firmly believes, if we take One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you shake up your thoughts, change your actions and create your future.

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1 Comment

  1. Wonderful post, Gary. Glad you are always learning about yourself. Keep on keeping on. And, you know I will be one of those friends that will be rooting for you on August 20, or any day… : )


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