Was talking to my fellow UCLA Bruin/Irishman and former KNBR colleague Brian Murphy the other day, breaking down the Let Them Play Foundation World Record Golf Challenge 420 hole adventure…
Murph was writing an article for the NCGA Golf magazine and basically asked me, now that I have had some time to reflect on the experience, what stands out???
Damn, that’s a tough question.
To be totally honest, looking back is a bit of BLUR…
I do remember the beginning and I definitely remember the end… As far as everything in between, think of it as a WILD excursion shared with unicorns and ferries in the magical land of Narnia.
Before I did the Western States 100, Franz Dill, who is a 6 time Western States finisher and my mentor into ultra running, said the experience was like “living a lifetime in a day.”
That was difficult to understand but after completing Western States, I realized that Franz’s description couldn’t have been more right…
In life, just as in racing 100 miles, we go through a series of ups and downs and trials and errors. Ultimately, it is our response to these moments that shape our lives (and our race).
Maybe it was naive of me, but I thought the 24 hour golf adventure would be very similar… Shockingly, I couldn’t have been more wrong. 🤷♂️
Although I believe running 106 miles while swinging a golf club nearly 3500 times was even more physically demanding than Western States, for whatever reason, I NEVER experienced the lows that I did on the arduous Squaw Valley to Auburn, CA journey…
It’s simple actually. During Western States, you go several miles in between aid stations and there were a few stretches where I didn’t see another person the entire time. I eventually started hearing shit and was convinced I was getting stalked by a mountain lion… The range of emotions I experienced at Western States had me laughing and crying (sometimes both at the exact same time)…
This was different. Not to say I didn’t experience emotions because I definitely did, but the fact that I had people, specifically MY PEOPLE, around me the entire time was a complete and total game changer.
Whatever lows that I may have went through the entire way were quickly counteracted by the POSITIVITY and LOVE of the entire SQUAD, including the 10 different youth sports teams that joined throughout the day.
Bottom line is that the JUICE provided by everybody involved with the event was present the entire time and so off the charts that it wasn’t like living a lifetime in a day where we would all deal with inevitable harsh realities… Rather, it was more like living in a fantasy world run by cute puppies, dancing teddy bears and singing goats… Yup… That’s right, singing f*cking goats. 🐐
The same euphoric world where there is no such thing as a bad day… The sun is always shining, unless of course you prefer rain, the wind at your back and we get to sip umbrella drinks on a beach (naked) while getting fanned with palm leaves…
Every once in awhile, we will all find a special energy that has incredible sustainability, and as much as we would like to think there is a drug or some other bullshit short term hack, make no mistake, the only source that energy is coming from is the POWER OF PEOPLE. 🙏
Just be grateful for the experience and make sure to return the LOVE. ❤️