"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." - Mark Twain
I had the great pleasure of meeting the legendary Tom Green, a pioneer in the ultrarunning world, this past Saturday at the Farm Park Challenge at the Agricultural History Farm Park in Derwood, Maryland.
He was nonchalant, sporting his favorite blue VHTRC Run Happy shirt. He didn’t think anyone would recognize him at this local event but I immediately recognized him from his mustache. I’ve read about him and his adventures on various websites including http://www.run100s.com/gs.htm
I introduced myself and asked if he was THE Tom Green. We ran together a bit and Tom graciously told me of his various races and how he got into running ultras. He too failed at his first attempt at the 100 distance but thanks to motivations from the great David Horton he persevered and finish. Not only did he finish, he went on to become the first man to complete the ultra grand slam in 1986 by running 4 100 mile races in the same year. Back then it was Old Dominion 100, Vermont 100, Leadville 100 and Wasatch 100. Each in increasing level of difficulty. Tom has also ran every running of the Bull Run Run 50 and the Mountain Masochist 50 miler.
I mentioned that he’s one of my hero and he humbly remarked he’s no one special, he just love to run. It’s his great humility and words of encouragement that reminded me of the above Mark Twain’s quote. He’s not even close to slowing down, he’s signed up for 4 100 mile races this year, including Vermont 100 and Western States 100. He promised to not let me quit at Vermont this year.
Photos I took from the Farm Park Challenge are available via Flickr @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/nguyenhai/sets/72157633440682730/
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