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Patrick Reagan: Patience is a Virtue

Patrick Reagan: Patience is a Virtue

It’s hard to think of a time when patience wouldn’t be virtuous, but it’s equally difficult to imagine a much better time for patience than in the middle of a 100-mile race. People compare the experience of a 100-mile race to that of a lifetime, which makes even the less noteworthy parts of such a race feel like decades. Imperative to have some patience, indeed. 

When it comes to patience, Patrick Reagan has it dialed in. Always wanting to run “the furthest distance possible in high school and college,” Patrick knows that one of his greatest virtues as a runner is (you guessed it) his patience. “I really dig the 100-mile distance,” he says fondly, having recently won the Javelina Jundred for the second year in a row. In 2017, Patrick dove head first into his first 100-miler, setting a course record at Javelina, and breaking the previous record by almost 30 minutes. 

Patrick has grown to love the Javelina Jundred, mostly for the camaraderie and spirit of the race. He explains it as “a big party in the desert,” where there are 19-24 mile loops alternating directions, so “it feels like you’re running with people of all sorts of abilities.” It also happens to be sponsored by Hoka and Squirrel’s (us!), which offers him a sense of running to support his sponsors. Thankfully, living and training in Savannah, Georgia also gives him the capability (and even enjoyment, he claims) of racing in the heat. 

Although he was amongst other runners on the course, Patrick was running alone, from about 11 or 12 miles into the race until 100k, when he could pick up his pacers. “It was very mentally taxing running all alone, not really knowing how far ahead I was, and it was getting hotter and hotter. I really looked forward to every aid station.” From the time he picked up his first pacer to about 80 miles, Patrick says he was in a low point. Finding the ability to keep moving, he eventually picked up his second pacer, and finished after sunset for the win. “The ambiance in general is so awesome, and so many great experiences of people coming in during the golden hour," or the last hour of the race before runners are cut off. 

Patrick is on the phone with me as he drives with his team to Florida. He’s the head coach of Track and Cross Country at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he has been coaching since 2011. They are headed to their conference meet, and, luckily, Patrick is able to take it easy and focus on his team. “For every ten miles of racing I take a day off,” he says… “Eat good food, relax and drink beer, just spend time doing other things.” Sometimes those things are kayaking and biking. In this case, it’s spending time with his team. 

He'll hit restart about ten days after Javelina, when he’ll start training again for Desert Solstice, his first 24-hour race. Desert Solstice will be another test of patience for all its participants, and Patrick will surely know how to keep his cool. We'll see you out there, Patrick, for some happy, hot, and chafe-free running!

Photos courtesy of Tim Tollefson & Zach Bitter

Why we love the outdoor community by Mark Barger

Why we love the outdoor community by Mark Barger

I started running in 2015. I was 25kg heavier than I am now and had a lot of bad health habits. I never did any sport before this.

My first event was just near the end of my Couch 2 - 5K program - something I still passionately evangelise to anyone that asks me 'how do you start running?' 

It was a 4.55k run with Coburg Harriers. I thought I was going to die and ran as poorly as you would expect. Looking back at the photos from that event, I barely recognise myself.

A little while later I made a training friend, Claire. We worked on our first 10km and 15km together - and later half marathon and road marathon. While on a training run she spotted people running through the bush near the Yarra. After some detective work we discovered trail running and thought we'd give it a go. We participated in a couple of trail races in 2016. I went on that year to complete my first half marathon and then break my heel training for the 28k at Two Bays.

2017 I completed 34 races including my first ultra followed the next day with a half marathon trail race. By this point I'd made so many wonderful friends. The social aspect is so much of why running has become part of my life and personality. Any holiday or trip away is now carefully crafted around a Parkrun or event.

For 2018 I set myself some big goals. I've already PB'd my road marathon in Japan at both the Kyoto and Tokyo marathons, completed two 100km races at Oxfam Trailwalker and UTA100 and finished more than 20 other events. I'm dealing with an injury right now, but have my sights set on a few more achievements before the year is out.

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