NGA: Traversing Costa Rica by Foot, Bike, and Paddle by Payge McMahon
By now we had known each other five days. We were in a remote, Costa Rican jungle and I couldn’t help but laugh at my new Swedish friend and expedition mate. Her parents named her after the loveable children’s character and bear, Winnie-the-Pooh. It was appropriate. Adventurous souls have the perfect mix of Pooh-like characteristics—loving life and appreciating their surroundings—along with enthusiasm modeled after the tiger character Tigger, who has bounce in his step and sees the best in every situation.
When I had a week and a half off, and Costa Rica seemed like a good option. So I did a Google search for a unique experience that would allow me to see the country away from the big cities and beach resorts. I found Coast-to-Coast Adventures and their signature 12-day Coast-to-Coast trip that traverses Costa Rica, 234 kilometers (145 miles), from the Pacific to the Atlantic Coasts, all by hiking, mountain biking, rafting, and kayaking. The actual physical adventure would take just eight days, with a few days on each end of the trip for rendezvous, rest, and travel. Further, Coast-to-Coast Adventures provided the bikes, rafts, kayaks, guides, food, and handled the logistics. All I had to do was show up with a sleeping bag, sleeping pad and move. Awesome!
To read the entire article: http://adventureblog.nationalgeographic.com/2013/04/30/traversing-costa-rica-by-foot-bike-and-paddle/
McMahon & ESPNW Win Gracie Award
The Alliance for Women in Media announced the 2013 Gracies Award winners on February 26. In conjunction with ESPNW, Payge McMahon’s Journeys and Victories episode titled, “Payge McMahon Tackles Her Mother’s Bucket List,” won for Outstanding Web Site – Information/Entertainment. The recipients of the Gracie Awards for excellence in local, online, public and student markets will be honored on June 26, 2013, at the Hilton New York.
The Gracies celebrate and honor programming created for women, by women, and about women, as well as individuals who have made exemplary contributions in online media and affiliates. Presented annually, the Gracie Awards recognize national, local and student works.
To read more about the Gracies: http://thegracies.org/2013-grace-awards.php
McMahon signs with Osprey Packs
Osprey Packs has signed adventure athlete, Payge McMahon, to an exclusive contract for 2013. A non-disclosed financial and product sponsorship agreement, McMahon will represent and use Osprey Packs in her 2013 adventures and events. This month she will host an expedition with Coast to Coast Adventures in Costa Rica, crossing the country all by hiking, mountain biking and whitewater kayaking. After this 145 mile journey she will head to Nicaragua for another adventure. In August Payge takes on the 250km Fire & Ice Ultra Stage Race in Iceland. A self-supported race, she will carry all her food and gear for this 7 day, 6 stage race in an Osprey Pack.
Martin Literary Management Signs Payge McMahon
Martin Literary Management signs Payge McMahon to a book development contract. Sharlene Martin was introduced to Payge McMahon through another one of her clients, Lisa Wysocky, an award winning author and co-wirter. Martin has represented numerous New York Times bestselling nonfiction books including Raffaele Sollecito’s book, Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox, HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell’s IWant, Suzanne Hansen’s You’ll Never Nanny in this Town Again, MaryJo Buttafuocco’s Getting It Through My Thick Skull, and The Goldman Family’s If I Did It based on the OJ Simpson murder of Ron Goldman and Nicole Simpson. Additionally, she represented true crime reporter Diane Dimond’s investigative book into the “White House Gatecrashers” entitled Cirque Du Salahi. She recently sold, in a major deal, Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six to Atria Books/Simon and Schuster, May, 2013.
To read more on the book Payge McMahon is developing, with the working title ‘Turn the Payge,” on her quest to finish her mother’s unfinished bucket list:” http://www.martinliterarymanagement.com/offerings-sharlene.htm
Runnerman Dan: 2,000 Miles & Beer! – by Payge McMahon
Dan Owings, a train conductor and father from Chicago, ran his first marathon in 2009 at the age of 39. It was on his bucket list and he figured the marathon would be a ‘one and done’ event. He did it in 3:20 and qualified for the Boston Marathon. Who does that in their first marathon??
Since 2009, Dan has raced over 2,000 miles in marathons and ultras. He is now known as ‘Runnerman Dan.’
At 5’10” and 170 pounds with a thick mop of curly brown hair and a kind, yet ornery, smile, Dan isn’t built like your typical endurance athlete. He is toned with a little bit of extra padding in the middle. He drinks beer the night before a race and doesn’t follow any healthy eating plans. A self proclaimed, ‘lazy person,’ Dan jests that he breaks as many good running principles as he follows. He does not cross-train and averages 35 miles running a week.
He believes in ‘quality’ miles, not ‘junk’ miles and runs mostly at tempo with some intervals thrown in for good measure. When asked why his body took so quickly to endurance running, Dan says, “some of it is genetics, but mostly, it is more in the doing then in the training.” Just do it.
Dan has fun.
I met Runnerman Dan when we competed in the 2012 Grand to Grand Ultra, a 167-mile, 7-day, self-supported, ultra-stage race last September. Having to backpack all your food and gear for the week long race, while running up and down sand dunes, mountains and forests’ trails, was a huge challenge. It was the first race of its kind for both of us. While my strengths were in distance backpacking and mountain climbing, Dan’s was in endurance running. I would find out the latter is way more important. Most competitors kept their backpacks under 20 lbs., mine was 19. Dan’s was 30 lbs. He packed beer and had twice as much food then other competitors. He smiled and raced all the way to finish 18th out of 60 runners. As a ‘wanna be distance runner’, I came in 40th and could not have been happier. It was the hardest adventure I have ever done.
There were many G2G Ultra competitors who intrigued me and Dan was one of them. Neither of us ‘look’ like endurance runners, though Dan clearly has more talent and unlike me, he genuinely loves to run. As we both prepare to do another 250km self-supported, ultra-stage race this year, I thought it would be good to see what insightful information I could gleam from him.
Payge: When did you know you were hooked on running?
Dan: After the first marathon, I realized it wasn’t so bad and decided to do another. I wound up doing 4 in 5 weeks.
Payge: You qualified for the Boston Marathon running in your very first marathon. That is crazy! How did you wind up doing in Boston?
Dan: By the time I did the Boston Marathon, I was coming back from an injury and had not trained much. I finished it in 3:59.
Payge: Why do you gravitate towards marathons and ultras? Between the two, which is your favorite to run?
Dan: My body feels more suited towards marathons. It usually takes 3-4 miles into a race before I feel comfortable and start to get that runners high.
Payge: In a race, do you run intervals or keep the same pace?
Dan: I keep the same pace.
Payge: In the past three years, you have run 32 marathons. How many were for PRs?
Dan: I’ve only run 4-5 marathons for a PR. When I am not a 3:50 pacer, I run most marathons at 90%. My best PR was the 2012 Chicago Marathon at 3:16:43, averaging a 7 minute and 30 second mile pace. Ironically, it was only 1 week after finishing the G2G Ultra.
Dan: I had not backpacked since I was a kid, so the most beneficial thing I did during my training was running with a backpack. I did the Chattanooga Mountain 3 day-60 mile stage race with a pack. I also did a 50 mile-ultra with a backpack.
Payge: What was your favorite thing about the G2G Ultra race?
Dan: The incredible views and comradery between competitors, race organizers and volunteers.
Payge: What was your least favorite?
Dan: It ended. I would have loved to do it for another week. Oh, and maybe having to make peace with a lot of sand.
Payge: During a marathon and ultra, what do you consume?
Dan: During a marathon, I alternate between water and Gatorade. I use Shot Blok made by Cliff Bars. In an ultra, same as a marathon, but add some peanut M&Ms, Oreos and Vanilla Wafers. If fruit is provided I will eat some oranges and watermelon. Sometimes I will eat deli meat ham. Some people drink pickle juice. I’ve tried it and hear the vinegar is good for pH balance.
Payge: What do you think about when you are running?
Dan: I think about anything and everything. My mind wanders. I think about performance and math if I am going for a PR. I never think, “I want to quit.”
Payge: Do you listen to an iPod?
Dan: I did when I first started running but have phased it out.
Payge: What do you take for recovery?
Dan: I drink chocolate milk. Since milk was not available during the G2G Ultra, I brought a powdered recovery drink.
Payge: What running shoes do you use?
Dan: I run in neutral running shoes and love Asics Cumulus. I do not use any custom inserts.
Payge: Do you have a favorite sock and blister prevention system?
Dan: I wear normal wicking socks and don’t have a favorite brand. I tried toe socks once and did not care for them. I don’t use lubrication unless I know my feet will get wet, and then I will put on Vaseline. I rarely get blisters.
Payge: What is your favorite running outfit?
Payge: What are your favorite sunglasses?
Dan: I like Oakley.
Payge: Do you have a mantra or favorite quote or both?
Dan: “Its just running, don’t overthink it.” “One foot in front of the other.”
Payge: What are your goals for 2013?
For more information or to follow Dan Owings: www.runnermandan.com