The Running4Soles Podcast

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May 9, 2021  

Meg Landymore and Celia Eicheldinger Tackle the Appalachian Trail - Episode Two



We catch up with Meg Landymore and Celia Eicheldinger a little over 300 miles into their Appalachian Trail adventure.

Read more about their adventure here:

Donate to their Soles4Souls campaign here:



March 19, 2021  

Meg Landymore and Celia Eicheldinger Tackle the Appalachian Trail - Episode One



On March 26th, my dear friends Meg Landymore and Celia Eicheldinger will being their journey to run the entire Appalachian Trail in 18 months. Because they are working moms, and they don't have the opportunity to set aside one large chunk of time to tackle it uniterrupted start to finish, they will be tackling it in weekend segments. Some very high mileage weekend segments!!

As part of this journey, they will be raising money and collecting shoes for Soles4Souls. Learn more about this project here:

Meg and Celia Soles4Souls Campaign

And you can follow their journey on their Appalachian Trail RunVenture Page here:




November 27, 2020  

Becca Jones and Jon Cox - Race Directors of the Midstate and Tennessee Miles


I recently signed up to run the Tennessee Mile. The race is run over a course affectionately - or maybe intimidatingly - called the "Murder Mile." 

When you sign yourself up for murder, it's usually wise to get a better idea of what you are up against. So I reached out to Becca Jones and Jon Cox who put this event on as well as the Midstate mile they host on the same course earlier in the year. 

I discovered what I often discover in the ultra community. I discovered two beautiful people. 

Jon talks about taking up running several years ago when he was feeling like he hadn't achieved anything notable in life. So he ran a marathon. And his running journey was born. 

Becca talks about growing up on the trails. She tells us how running helps her and others look into their souls. And how much she loves being a part of that exploration. 

I hope you enjoy our conversation. 


Check out the Mid-state mile Facebook Page here:

Check out Becca's coaching website here, where you can also register to come run your own murder mile:




November 11, 2020  

An Interview with Lauren Jones - In Pursuit of the Fastest Known Time on the Pinhoti Trail



“I went further than I ever thought possible, I felt better than I ever thought possible, and I completely surprised myself. I had had the experience of a lifetime.”


In 2019, Lauren Jones had the chance of a lifetime. She was in her dream race, the Leadville 100. But her dream race turned into one she couldn't finish. In her words, she was broken and mentally crushed. 

The day after Lauren dropped from her race, she went back and watched the final hour of the final finishers at Leadville and that sealed the deal. She knew she'd be ready the next time.

That vow would begin in 2020 - that would be her redemption year. 

Unfortunately, it would also be the year of COVID. All those redemption races she'd signed up for were suddenly cancelled. Lauren needed to find a pursuit to ease the sting - something to focus her training - an outlet for her pent up redemption energy. 

She didn't go small, that's for sure. Around a campfire her and some friends decided that outlet would be chasing the fastest known time on the 350 mile Pinhoti trail - which was about 5 1/2 days...

In this interview Lauren tells us about the beauty she found in the chase. 

She told me the most beautiful part of the experience was the people.

"The people made it the experience. I thought it would be just grinding and getting miles and doing the thing. But I actually had such an incredible experience seeing how kind and how generous and how loving all these people were. There were some I didn't know at all and some I barely knew and some that I knew very well. All coming together and all working together and all working out this one common goal for this one person. I was just overwhelmed at the kindness of people. That was the whole experience of this thing for me. The people."

This a beautiful story about human strength. It's the story of what happens when one discovers doing something isn't as scary as it sounded. 

Read Lauren's Pinhoti Trail Recap Here: Race Report - Pinhoti In Review

November 6, 2020  

Watts Dantzler - The Journey from Georgia Bulldog Lineman to Georgia Jewel 100 Miler


When I recently ran the Georgia Jewel 35-miler (37ish miles in this COVID altered addition), I had no idea I was sharing the trail with a former Georgia Bulldog offensive lineman. Only Watts was tackling a much longer race that day than I was.  

After interviewing Watts Dantzler, I told him he might be the unlikeliest ultra marathoner I've ever encountered. Just a few years removed from being a 6'8" 350 pound athlete battling in the trenches at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia - Watts Dantzler was returning to his Dalton, Georgia home to tackle the first 100 mile race of his life. 

In this interview Watts and I talk about his journey running from the grief of losing his dad - his hero - when he was a high school sophomore. We talk about his journey running from the identity of "football star." We talk about how running from demons in life put him on a path back to God and in pursuit of conquering the 100-mile Georgia Jewel. 

I hope you enjoy this conversation exploring this incredible journey. 

Local news story about Watts Dantzler's Georgia Jewel Run. 


October 30, 2020  

An Interview with Whitney Richman - Setting Records on Virginia’s Capital Trail

15 years ago, Whitney Richman watched a friend finish the Chicago Marathon. She thought to herself, hey, I can do that. 

The next year she did. And the running accomplishments have piled up ever since. 

I love this conversation with Whitney. We talk about her recent fastest know time finishes on Richmond's Capital trail - both the 52 miles one way and then a couple of months later the 104 mile both ways run. 

We talk about Whitney's love for the ultra community, how they have an "it takes a village" mentality about them. 

Whitney gives us some advice on how to manage the self talk that is always trying to talk us out of becoming our best selves. Whitney shares how running can actually become our best form of therapy. 

We talk about how running impacts our ability to make quick and confident decisions - and question whether that works out for us or against us in the long run. 

Whitney previews her upcoming Rim to River 100 mile Ultra on November 7 - I'm fired up to follow her on this journey. 

Rim to River Ultra

News story on record setting capital trail run

October 23, 2020  

An Interview With Meg Landymore - Fastest Woman to Ever Complete the Double SCAR

Shortly after I completed my 37 mile Georgia Jewel ultramarathon, I read a post Meg Landymore shared on the race Facebook page. Meg actually won the female division of the 50-mile race. She wrote this:

"On Chasing Your Ghost"

I thought I was ready to face my prior self head on, I thought I'd prepped for this race. What I didn't know was what it would actually feel like to chase myself and watch myself fade into the distance because...well, you can't chase a ghost. The feeling of losing the battle with yourself from a different time but in the exact same place. That, I was not prepared for.

I wasn't prepared to be raw as I silently spewed my reality and/or excuses on the empty dark trail, "I'm a mom of two now" "I opened a business" "I had surgery" "covid".... But they fall on deaf heightened nerve endings in the mind where the resounding "you're not even close to the athlete you were that day " reverberates through my body with every step....With every misstep and near fall the memory of how I some how didn't trip at all in the first 20 miles of the Georgia jewel 100 in 2018...

The lesson from 2018 though was to be positive, to be kind (to myself) and it worked. So in between constantly tripping in 2020 I'd remind myself to ignore the ghost and focus on this moment, just as I had in 2018. So you see now how 2020 continued to remind me of 2018... But it wasn't and is not. I'm not the same. I am Better.

My race in 2018- the Golden moment or 21 hrs of moments -were that of magical concoction of pure love, grit, hard effort and a whole Lot of Luck, amazing volunteers, crew and pacing. The truth is, I don't know how I ran so well that day... But I continue to hold onto the lessons I learned.

1. Be positive, be kind to yourself - most of the struggles of ultra running is in fact in your head.
2. nutrition really is Key... My race fell apart in 2018... Thank goodness I ran such a killer first 74 miles because the last 26 were a mixed bag of naive mistakes- the same ones I always used to make ...mostly that I hadn't eaten anything since the three bites of veggie burger atop John's mountain- where I swore to my crew I'd eat because I'd failed to at dry creek for hours prior.
3. All the moments matter when you look back. I'm type A...I tear myself apart for each moment that I walked too slow or mentally caved in. In the moments of "weakness" I would tell myself "it's OK to rest a bit, it's OK to fail" but then when I crossed the finish line with any doubt in my mind I'd spend weeks analyzing why I let myself down... How I'd "failed" to give it my all

So fast forward to 2020... Where my baseline speed is slower, my baseline chronic pain level is higher and I add up what I am, as an athlete after a very well put together 50 mile race (and a handful of good ones since 2018).

I have finally learned:

I now know exactly how to manage my nutrition through to the very end. I can run hard at the end of a race.

I now know how to talk to myself to stay focused even when I'm chasing my own ghost and feeling fairly low and tripping left and right.

I now know how to be certain that when I look back on my race I can be proud of it, no matter where I landed in the field because I gave it everything I had. No Regrets.

I am a better athlete than I've ever been, and has nothing to do with speed and everything to do with heart.

I was moved by Meg's words, so I reached out and asked if I could interview her. She said yes, and here is our discussion. 

You can download this discussion at the Running4Soles podcast on podbean or itunes - you can also listen to it on Spotify.


You can read Meg's double SCAR race recap here: Run the Ride


October 16, 2020  

Their first ultramarathon at the Georgia Jewel - an interview with David and Mary Ann Kauffman

I wasn't far into my recent Georgia Jewel race when I heard footsteps coming up from behind me. Then I heard a voice, "are you Mr. Keith?"

Hearing myself referred to as "Mr. Keith" made me instantly feel like an old man. When I turned and saw how young the man was from where those words came, I felt like I should probably be spending the day in a nursing home and not out on the trails of the Georgia Jewel.

The young man was David Kauffman. It turns out he and his wife Mary Ann were running their first ultramarathon. David told me that in preparing for their race he had listened to my podcast conversations about the Jewel. He specifically pointed out how inspired he was by the one I recorded about my Georgia Jewel failure.

Hey kid - that's not the pep talk I need today!!

David was the first of three runners I encountered that day who commented on my podcasting. I'd never met any of them before. I've said my prayer that day was for God to make his presence known to me every step of the way. By the end of the race, I felt like one of the things God was telling me while we hung out was I needed to get back to recording these podcasts, since I'd been on a bit of a break from it.

I tried to talk myself out of it. I'm busy with work and with other pursuits. Podcasting takes time I don't have. But God just kept putting that on my heart.

So I reached out to David and Mary Ann. I asked if I could interview them about their Jewel experience.

We scheduled the interview for last night. Prior to the interview, I reached out and asked if there was any part of their story they'd like to make sure we got out there. If so, I'd ask questions to lead us there. Never in a million years did I see what came next.

Mary Ann responded to my question.

She said she didn't know how far back I'd traced her story on Facebook, but she'd been married before. She was a 19 year-old newlywed - pregnant with her first child. She and her husband Marcus were returning home from a Thanksgiving trip. Arriving home, they saw what appeared to be a disabled car. Marcus took Mary Ann to a friend's house while he went back to help them. When he got there, though, he discovered the occupants of the car were robbing their house. The robbers shot Marcus in the head. Some time later he died.

I say all the time, the reason I love interviewing runners is because they all have stories that are deeper than a runner trying to win a race or achieve some running milestone. Stories that speak to me. But I'm not sure I've ever discovered a running story quite this deep.

In this interview I start by telling Mary Ann how hard it had been for me to process her story. I told her I have a son who will be 14 soon - not much younger than that 19 year-old mom and wife. I asked her, how on earth does a "kid" handle that kind of event?

Her answer was simple: God.

Mary went on to describe a faith I can't always comprehend. One thing she said to me stuck out in that faith. She said she was grateful she never had to deal with forgiveness. She said she forgave her husband's killers from the beginning. Mary Ann said everything else she had to deal with was hard enough; she's thankful she didn't have to battle bitterness on top of it.

In that moment, before my running podcast ever got to talking about running, I knew why God had me in the middle of that conversation. It was like God was staring at me, looking for my reaction as Mary Ann talked about how thankful she was she didn't have to battle bitterness.

When Mary was done telling her story, I could hear God ask, shall we talk about your bitterness now? Uhm, not right now God - I have to finish this interview.

I asked David, Mary Ann's husband of five years now, how he came into Mary Ann's life. David said, I don't have a big story like Mary Ann's - I feel like I just walked through a door God opened in my life.

It wasn't lost on me that's why I was in that conversation with two of the most beautiful people I've ever met. God opened a door with "hey, are you Mr. Keith?" - and God was asking me if I was going to walk through it.

I'm grateful to share this interview. I can't wait for you to hear what I discovered on the other side of that door. Yes, our conversation was heavy to start, but man did we have some fun too. It might be one of the most fun interviews I've ever done.

I wonder how many open doors I walk by every day. I wonder how many life changing moments I miss when I do. Today I'm full of gratitude that I walked through this one.

The Georgia Jewel Trail Race

Mary Ann Kauffman asks for people to not hate her husband's killers

May 12, 2020  

An Interview With Stephanie Northway

As one of the precautionary measures during the Covid-19 pandemic, all running events have been cancelled. This is the story of a young lady, who in partnership with her 7 year old son, created her own races. Together they ran and they taught and they learned and they inspired. They did this 100 miles at a time, in their back yard and in their house and going up and down the stairs in that house - thousands of times.

You can read more about this interview here: Stephanie Northway Podcast Interview Blog Post

April 28, 2020  

An Interview With Soles4Souls CEO Buddy Teaster

Back in November of 2018, I interviewed Soles4Souls CEO, Buddy Teaster. It was one of the most influential interviews I've ever conducted. Listen to that conversation here: An Interview with Buddy Teaster.

Our conversation impacted my running journey. Buddy is an ultra runner. Listening to him describe a running journey that went from a few miles here in the tiny town of Ashland, Virginia where I live, to 100 mile races all over the country, inspired me to want to run longer in my own journey. 

More importantly, though, Buddy inspired my love for his organization, Soles4Souls, and the work they are doing to eradicate poverty around the world. In this episode, Buddy talks about the challenges facing their organization in these challenging times, as well as the partners they serve around the world. 

Read more about this episode here: Running4Soles

April 21, 2020  

An Interview With Ultrarunner Greg Armstrong

In this episode, Greg Armstrong says, "It's good for the soul to realize that we are weak, and that our bodies are weak and our minds are weak, and we have limitations. And for me, ultrarunning does that for me."  

This conversation goes in depth about the beauty in the struggle. Both in running and in life. Struggle gives birth to compassion. 

Read more about this episode here: An Interview With Greg Armstrong

April 15, 2020  

The Lions Pride Run - An Interview With Kate Fletcher

On February 17th, 2020, my friend Kate Fletcher ran her 5th Lions Pride Run to raise money for scholarships for underprivileged students in Louisa, Virginia. This years run was a 50 mile run from Louisa to the Virginia capital building in Richmond. 

Some things we talk about in this discussion:

What it means to be a part of a tight knit community like Louisa. 

Why Kate chose, unlike the previous 4 years, to run outside of Louisa this year.

Running as a creative outlet, as a way to construct something bigger in life. 

Running as a way to get into a flow state.

Running as a way to widen and broaden the way we look at the world. 

There is value in getting uncomfortable. Struggle is not something that is in the way - it is the way. 

How a teacher came to better understand her students through the sport of running.

Read more about my interview with Kate here:

April 3, 2020  
March 31, 2020  

JP Caudill - When Your Marathon is Cancelled You Head for the Treadmill

A couple of years ago, I had a chance to interview JP after he completed the World Marathon Challenge - 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 different continents. (Listen to that interview here: JP Caudill Episode 45).

Last weekend I caught up with JP just a week after he'd run his cancelled Shamrock Marathon on a treadmill. Many of us have had our races cancelled in response to the Covid 19 virus. JP made the decision to tackle his cancelled race on the treadmill. 

We talk about that experience. We talk about how running can help us through these challenging times. We talk about how these times are bringing new runners to the sport. 

I truly appreciated this conversation with my friend JP Caudill. 

To see pictures and more resources related to this interview, visit here at the:blog post for this episode.

March 25, 2019  

Louisa High School Teacher Kate Fletcher - The 2019 Lions Pride Run For Scholarships

What you'll hear in this conversation:

Even after you've run 100 miles, a 35 mile run comes with it's own set of fears and doubts. 

Part of our human condition is doubts. And maybe that's why we run, because we love wrestling with doubt. 

Life isn't about training to be comfortable, it's about mastering our approach to life when it gets uncomfortable. 
Runners rarely win a race, they often have setbacks, yet they keep going, doing something that would be much easier to quit.

Is it possible that in a culture that is more comfortable than ever, runners are a group of people seeking discomfort, and possibly because they want the chance to wrestle with failure to see how they'll respond. 

Kate Fletcher is not a runner drawn to "racing." She talks about why it's difficult for her to find a reason to race, but relatively easy to find a reason to run. 

Whether we are running or tackling a career or a relationship, understanding "why" we do it is always the key fulfillment.

Are runners salespeople? What are we trying to sell ourselves and others through our running?

A conversation about the book Born to Run - and this idea that the secret to running is found in our capacity for loving one another. It's found in compassion. 

Maybe running gives us the opportunity to have meaningful conversations with ourselves and others we might not normally have otherwise. 

Contribute to Kate's Lion Pride Scholarship Fund 



Introduction and closing song: One Flame to Burn (Prospect 7)

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March 20, 2019  

The 2019 Land Between the Lakes Ultra Recap

This is the podcast episode number 79. 

From my blog recap of the Land Between the Lakes Ultra

This was not the start I'd anticipated for my attempt at my longest run ever. There was no way to train for these conditions outside of daily runs through a swamp in the middle of a hurricane - neither of which I'd had access to. 

It was clear this day was about me and my heart. No coach was going to drag me through. No inspirational meme was going to coax me on. This day was about the miles I'd put on my feet and legs leading up to this moment, and whatever strength I'd stowed away in my mind. 

​And if I was lucky, this day would be about discovering some new strength along the way. ​

Listen to this podcast for the rest of this running story. 

March 4, 2019  

Laura Baumgardner and the 7th Annual Run for Respect

This is the podcast episode number 78. 

Back in 2017, I met Laura Baumgartner and three of her students - Mitch, Nick and Austin - from Pontiac High School in Illinois. These young men were three of Laura's special needs students. After spending time with them, I came to see these three as just plain special.
Every year Laura and her students partner with Special Olympics Illinois to host an annual Run for Respect. The mission behind the run is to get rid of the "R-word" retarded and replace it with the "R-word" respect. I find the beauty of what Laura and her students are doing in their hearts. Laura's students aren't asking their community to respect themTheir fight is for everyone to be respected by everyone. That's a beautiful fight - a fight we'd all be well served getting behind. 

In this interview, Laura and I talk about her passion for teaching her students and for making a difference in the community she grew up in. With help from the running community, Laura and her students have been able to build a culture of acceptance and inclusion in Pontiac, Illinois.

This is a beautiful story about how one idea applied with a whole lot of heart really can make a difference in the world. 

To register for the 7th annual Run for Respect - either in person or virtually - go here:

To follow the Run for Respect Facebook Page go here:



Introduction and closing song: One Flame to Burn (Prospect 7)

If you would like to comment on this podcast you can contact me and leave a comment at:

Email me at:


February 13, 2019  

From 390 pounds to an Ultra Marathoner in a Little Over a Year - Meet Orlando Buck_Episode 76

Meet Orlando Buck. This is a post he shared on the Trail and Ultra Running Facebook page:

Original post December 19, 208

Good day. I would like to introduce myself to the group and explain why I am here...this may be a long post, so I thank you in advance for those who read it.

My name is Orlando Buck. I have lost over 160 pounds since March of this year. The picture below shows my before pics from Feb. and March as well as some recent pics (the top right one is from a conference I was at a couple of weeks ago and the bottom right one is me up on Charlie's Bunion on the AT the beginning of Oct.). When I started this journey I weighed 390.5 pounds...I am now below 230 pounds (and 6'6" tall). I did have the gastric sleeve to help me with portion control (the amount of stomach they had to take out was much larger than most, according to my surgeon), I eat mostly vegetarian meals (I have meat products 2, maybe 3 meals per week), and began cardio workouts (walking first, now running and hiking). I started off by walking 3 miles, then slowly added jogging. My longest run so far is 20 miles (at a 10:28/mile pace) as I train for a half marathon in Feb, a marathon in April, and a 100 mile ultra (3 races, 3 days, 33.3 miles each) in May. I have also started doing some trail runs (when I am around trails!) and absolutely love them!

I am a former Marine and I love a challenge! I believe that's why I have done as well as I have working my way up from walking to running.

So, here I am...ready to work and to be challenged. I have enjoyed reading through some of the posts in here and look forward to any information or advice you might have for me. I also look forward to meeting/seeing some of ya'll out on the trails!

After reading that post I knew I needed to have a conversation with Orlando. And this is our conversation. 


Introduction and closing song: One Flame to Burn (Prospect 7)

If you would like to comment on this podcast you can contact me and leave a comment at:

Email me at:

January 7, 2019  

70 Year Old Gene Dykes is Still Crushing the 3 Hour Marathons - and More_Episode 75

What you'll hear on this episode: 

This is Gene Dykes' 2018 running year in review - in his own words:

My running year in review! I've had a few requests to post both an overview of my 2018 running season and a preview of 2019. This post looks back on 2018 and in a few days I'll post what I'm looking forward to in 2019.

Normally, I schedule a year ahead of time by picking the really fun adventures I want to have, and then I'll schedule competitive races into the remaining time. However, I turned 70 in 2018, so being at the top of a new age group, I decided to let competitive races take priority and limit my adventure runs. It turned out well! (I set nine US age group records, and I won 10 USATF national titles) And now, lots of boring statistics, with a little commentary thrown in:

Miles run: 2,597 (no, I wasn't tempted to go back out New Year's Eve to run 3 more miles)
Races run: 43 races in 40 weekends for a total of 725 race miles

Even though I ran more races in a year than ever before, because I ran fewer really long races, my total miles are down a bit from the 2,800 miles of the previous couple of years, and the race miles are well off the 1,300 race miles of previous years. I'll remedy that next year!

Breakdown of races by type and distance:

5K: 3
8K: 1
5 Mile: 4
10K: 2
15K: 1
10 Mile: 2
Half Marathon: 3
Marathon: 7

10K: 3
15K: 1
Half Marathon: 1
50K: 1
50 mile: 2
70 mile: 1
100 mile: 1
6 hours: 1

Indoor Track:
3K: 1

Outdoor Track:
800 meters: 1
1500 meters: 1
2K Steeplechase: 1
5K: 1
10K: 1
12 Hours: 1

Cross Country:
5K: 2

I set 11 new PR's in 2018, so I'm still getting faster at age 70 and after 12 years of racing. Can I possibly improve again in 2019?

What a powerful year for Gene. I hope you enjoy this conversation as Gene dives into how he keeps doing it, year after year, faster and faster. 


Introduction and closing song: One Flame to Burn (Prospect 7)

A special thank you to Kristen Myers for sponsoring today's episode through Patreon.

If you would like to comment on this podcast you can contact me and leave a comment at:


Email me at:

December 28, 2018  

An Interview With Still I Run Founder Sasha Wolff_Episode 74

What you'll hear on this episode: 

Sasha Wolff battles a mental illness. She's discovered running is a strong ally in that battle. As she searched the internet to find a group of runners that rallied to promote their own mental health or that of others, she couldn't find one. So she decided to create her own. 

In this conversation, Sasha talks openly about her own mental illness and how that led her to founding Still I Run

Check out the Still I Run Facebook Group

You may also be interested in checking out their closed inspiration group here


Introduction and closing song: One Flame to Burn (Prospect 7)

A special thank you to Rachel Wood for sponsoring today's episode through Patreon.

If you would like to comment on this podcast you can contact me and leave a comment at:


Email me at:

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