The Dark Horse

On Saturday June 28, I ran the race of my life on one of the grandest stages in the ultramarathoning world. I must admit that after my dream run at the Boston Marathon, I did not think anything would surpass the electrifying emotions I experienced on that day.

The restless nights post-race.

The outpouring of love and encouragement from close friends, long lost acquaintances, and the ever-supportive running world.

…yet somehow, for reasons I still can’t quite comprehend, once again I proved myself otherwise.

How many of us are fortunate enough to have the best moments of our life captured on film? I truly am a lucky girl. Perhaps too lucky. Sometimes I feel as if I don’t deserve it.


Please bear with me as I try to pull this beautiful and wondrous experience into words. In the interim, I’d like to share a small story that resonated with me deeply throughout the race.

Running through the Granite Chief Wilderness, the surrounding mountains ablaze with glorious morning alpenglow, I had the pleasure of sharing the trail with Pam Smith. Pam and I follow a similar training philosophy, and she’s been a tremendous source of inspiration to me for some time now. Making our way across Lyon Ridge, she shared something with me that I never expected to hear.

You’re my dark horse pick.

Me? A dark horse?

The words stayed with me for the entirety of my run at Western States. They gave me confidence as I powered strongly along the buttery singletrack - a thoroughbred. They provided comfort when I hit lows – perhaps more a mule, yet a persistent mule at that. Those words reminded me never to doubt myself, and to always have the courage to take a risk and pursue my dreams.

Stay tuned for a more in-depth report in the coming days.

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12 thoughts on “The Dark Horse

  1. Brian says:

    The only problem is you never get to be that dark horse again. Everyone is gonna know you’re coming.

    Great run and awesome job. We knew you could do it!

  2. Can’t wait to read more from your perspective! Getting into ultras is a (admittedly far-off) dream of mine! You really were a dark horse! The only bad part is… you can only do that once… now you’ll be well-known at all the ultras!

  3. Josh, you’re running ultra-efforts on many of the mountain routes and races you’ve completed. You are more than ready to tackle ultras! Let me know if you have any questions about making the leap :).

  4. Steve Hawkins says:

    I was pulling hard for you (a fellow north easterner) all day, while geeking out on the irunfar coverage. I was hoping so badly you could maintain your pace, and you did! Congrats on your amazing race, and wishing you a lot of future success.

  5. This probably sounds silly, but I swear I could feel the positive vibes coming through from folks following the race… and I think they helped keep me running strong. Thank you so much for the kind words.

  6. It was absolutely awesome to “watch” you move steadily and never falter! No dark horsing anymore! I’ve been following you for 2 years (I think, since Vermont) and your life style you share and your runs. The interview was great, the joy you have – this is why you run the way you do. Congrats!

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