Wednesday, February 28
Always 70 and Sunny
Always 70 and Sunny

VA/KY Mountains, Midnight, 20 mi Climb, TYA says “Let’s Go Brother”


1 PAX was present at the Pound Gap aid station at 10:00pm Saturday for his next leg on the Cloudsplitter 100 miler. This is more or less what transpired (probably less since TYA had the Q, and YHC was barely lucid at the time).

YHC had a tough leg immediately prior. Suffice to say, GI issues led to a PAX who was low on energy and enthusiasm – particularly at the thought of having to venture back up a mountain at 10pm for what was estimated to be a 6 hour out-and-back. TYA recognized the state of the PAX and quickly swapped-out his jeans and sweatshirt for running gear and a headlamp. After setting up YHC with needed provisions and lighting (Tron Lives!), TYA slapped on his pacer-bib and said “Let’s go brother.”

Anyway, having only vague recollections of what occurred, this is YHC’s best attempt at listing what he experienced and observed over that 20 mile nighttime run with countless feet of elevation change:

The Tron vest received as many compliments from other runners as it did during the BRR. YHC heard some runner say “looks like Christmas is coming” in which YHC responded with a hearty(?) “Ho-Ho-Ho” (no, I wasn’t feeling very jolly at the time). At one point (or actually 2+), in response to an emergency situation, YHC had to pull a Stiffler’s-Mom, aka what Fudd had to do during the BRR. While headlamps were briefly turned off, Tron-vest was left in full glow (I trust Fudd would be proud). During one of those instances, TYA called out “dude, there’s another runner coming”….Given the emergency situation YHC cared little of that, but he respected TYA’s position as the Q and desire to maintain some level of decorum on the trail – so YHC sped up his efforts before said runner arrived.

When we arrived at the aid-station mid-way through the leg, TYA insisted the PAX take ample time for proper nourishment and hydration…simply put, the guy was on-top-of-it – as usual. It was at this time that YHC slowly began to improve. Making certain we were fully stocked for the return trip, we left the aid-station with campfire and tiki-lights glowing (ask TYA), and headed back into the gloom. As YHC was beginning feel his energy return, he felt compelled to point out to TYA the various places he had pulled a Stiffler’s mom during his prior leg. Observing TYA’s apparent disinterest on the topic, YHC dropped the subject and focused on following TYA who set the pace…and when I say pace, I mean TYA was THE pace setter…while I could barely keep up with him on the trip-out, the time and attention he gave at the aid-station really turned it around for me – which showed as he continued to challenge me on the way back. Throughout our return I also observed how TYA would say words of encouragement to other runners coming from the opposite direction (these were runners who were just getting started on their out-and-back). If I were to encapsulate it right there, the man is an inspiration to others. He jumped into a 20 mile midnight mountain run on a moments notice and made it look like a walk in the park…Respect.

Although this is a back-blast to acknowledge TYA’s outstanding Q, YHC would like to offer some other observations and FAQ’s gleaned from the remaining race:
– Yes trail shoes are a good idea, that is why they call them trail shoes. Had YHC used them perhaps that sharp rock would not have pierced the sole of his running shoe
– Is it possible to nod-off while you are running?…absolutely
– Give me the steepest up hill climb you got, over a steep downhill – covered in sharp rocks
– Unexpected things happen while running, including getting stung by a bee. It does, however, take one’s mind off of other aches and pains.
– When running through the woods alone in the dark, don’t worry about the wildlife…pay attention to where you are going and where you’ve been, and don’t panic if the trail markers suddenly all disappear (having been removed by a disgruntled land-owner).
– Pack plenty of TP, or at least know your plant-life (i.e. the poisonous from non-poisonous variety)

Lastly, yes in F3 we often say it is “you against you”, but it’s that 2nd F is that most powerful lynch-pin that gets you through it all.

Saab out



About Author

One who abides and is prone to sophomoric and juvenile humor.


  1. Quick shout out to all my brothers in F3. Were it not for all your support (well wishes, absentee and FIFO waivers for some workouts, the BRR, weekend trail runs, and respect I have for everyone who is out there in the gloom every morning), this is something I would not have attempted – or at least completed.

    Saab abides.

  2. Incredible. Way to go Saab.

    Strong Q TYA – way to step up, help a brother and show what F3 is all about.

    RESPECT, indeed, to both of you.

  3. Friggin’ Saab. Mucho respect. Runs a hundo and posts an homage to TYA.

    I got chills, dude. Much Love to both of you.

  4. Double RESPECT!!! Congrats, all the hard work and training paid off. TYA, impressive stepping up to the plate and assisting Saab through all 100 miles.

  5. RESPECT! Impressive feat (feet) Saab. Your F3 brethren had no doubt you would take care of business in the mountains. TYA, we also had no doubt that you would do what needed to be done to get him through. It’s hard to keep TYA off a good trail.

  6. F3 Brothers RESPECT!!!! When your brother needs you… You Switch out your clothes and run 20 miles with them…TYA that is one of the coolest things I have ever heard about in all of sports… RESPECT!!! And most of all Saab… Who spends there BB after completing 1 of the top 10 most difficult physical and mental challenges ever.. Paying respect to your Q.. RESPECT!! It is an honor and privilege to spend time in the gloom with you both.

  7. You guys set a bar that will likely not be tampered with anytime soon. Truly amazing stuff from both of you!

  8. Awesome work fellas. Now who is going to get F3RVA an endorsement deal from the Tron vest guys?

  9. You guys are all amazing. No matter what it is, someone is there to assist / encourage / push along / etc. making this F3 group the best group out there. You always make FNGs welcome, and never leave anyone behind, while we take this journey towards being a better and healthier man.

    Congrats to everyone who has completed some crazy shit, and respect to everyone else that was
    there to push them along.

  10. BT (Big Tennessee) on

    I will read this 100 more times in the next 2 days. What an experience, and what an exhibition of brotherhood and class. RESPECT, RESPECT, RESPECT!

  11. Never mind that. Can’t wait to hear more from you and Toga about the Spartan race…Bowling Ball Treatment?!…awesome.

  12. Amazing what a man with an iron will and the support of a guy in tron vest can accomplish. Saab, your perseverance is inspiring. Mad RESPECT!

  13. BT (Big Tennessee) on

    It was something. Traveling this week but I will gladly elaborate when I return.

  14. This whole adventure is amazing! There aren’t many words that haven’t already been said, but Respect indeed for such an impressive accomplishment. So what’s next? Barkley or Badwater?

  15. Saab you are truly the man. It’s 100 friggin miles people!

    I’m glad the button fly jeans are still making the rounds.

    I never use this word the what comes to mind is E-P-I-C.

  16. Wow. These are the kinds of stories the next generation needs to hear. What living legacies you are! I am honored to know you.