If you cannot see this e-mail, please click here

Ragnar AD

 June 6, 2013
 FRESH DIRT

Trail Running in a War Zone
A Black Hawk helicopter pilot's daring evening jog on the FOB
By Jeremiah Smith

It’s the end of another stressful day somewhere in Afghanistan, my second combat tour here, and I’m about to abandon my combat gear—boots, body armor and M-4 carbine rifle—for running shoes, shorts and a T-shirt. Even here, on a forgotten Forward Operating Base (FOB) in southern Afghanistan, you’ve got to get out and hit the trails, right?

I grab my roommate and running buddy, Seth. If I want to talk, he’ll listen. If I don’t, he’ll run with me just the same. Plus, if one of those bad guys—be they Taliban, Al Qaeda or otherwise—is going to do me in, I want a witness.

We begin our run near the firing range. No one’s here tonight shooting M-4s, Kalashnikovs or RPGs—only a shepherd grazing his goats and sheep in the target area. The image cracks me up—an Army shooting range nestled right up next to an Afghan version of Brigadoon.

Now, I should give a disclaimer of sorts at this point … I’m a Black Hawk helicopter pilot, a Chief Warrant Officer, and I live a conflicting life. Read on …


Wilderness Book Wilderness Book

 ON YOUR MARK! DON'T MISS THESE UPCOMING RACES!

Click here to find races in your area.

Pacific/Desert   
07/13 Brian Waterbury Memorial Rock To Pier Run 6M, 13.1M; Morro Bay, CA; www.leaguelineup.com/rock2pier

07/13 Cuyamaca 3 Peaks 50K; Cuyamaca, CA
07/13 Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon 26.2M; Carlton, NM
07/13 Grey Rock 12K, 25K, 50K; Yakima, WA
07/13 Mt Disappointment 50K Endurance Race 50K, 50M; Angeles National Forest, CA
07/13 Mt Hood 50 50M; Clackamas Lake, OR
07/13 Reservoir Dogs Trail Race 10K, 13.1M, 35K; Orinda, CA
07/13 Scott Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series #3 10M, 20M; Newcastle, WA
07/13 Stonewall Peak Half Marathon 13.1M; Cuyamaca, CA
07/14 Golden Gate Trail Run 5M, 13.1M, 30K, 26.2M, 50K; Sausalito, CA
07/16 Tuesday Trails & Tacos 3M, 5M; Trabuco Canyon, CA
07/17 IRC Mid-Summer 5k 5K; Auburn, WA
07/20 Almaden Trail Run at Quicksilver 10K, 13.1M, 26.2M; San Jose, CA
07/20 Lagoon Valley Trail Run 1.0 5K, 10K; Vacaville, CA
07/20 Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs 50K, 50M, 100M; Carson City, NV
07/20 Wild Woman Marathon and Relay 26.2M, R; Trout Lake, WA
07/21 La Sportiva Table Rock 10K, 27K; Stinson Beach, CA
07/21 La Sportiva Table Rock 25K 25K; Stinson Beach, CA
07/21 San Bruno Mountain  5K, 12K; Brisbane, CA
07/21 XTERRA Lord Hill Trail Run 10K, 13.1M; Snohomish, WA
07/26 Ragnar Trail Tahoe 120R; Lake Tahoe, CA
07/27 Bad Bass Half Marathon 5K, 10K, 13.1M; Castro Valley, CA
07/27 Dog Mountain 10K 10K; Stevenson, WA
07/27 Foothills Rails to Trails Buckley to Orting Half Marathon 13.1M; South Prairie, WA; www.rainiertoruston.com

07/27 Siskiyou Out Back Trail Run 15K, 50K; Ashland, OR
07/27 The Big 4-0 40M; Eau Claire, WI
07/27 Vertigo Night Runs 10K, 31K, 63K; Waddell, AZ
07/27 White River 50 Mile Endurance Run 50M; Cougar Mountain, WA
07/27 Wildwood Trail Run 10K, 13.1M, 26.2M; Portland, OR
07/28 Chuckanut Mountain 12k/30k 12K, 30K; Bellingham, WA
07/28 Crazy Eights - Turkey Hill 8K, 13.1M; Stockton, CA
07/28 XTERRA Snow Valley 10K, 21K; Running Springs, CA
08/01 Renegade Summer Trail Run Series - #3 at Peters Canyon 5M; Tustin, CA
08/03 Angel Island 12K, 25K; Tiburon, CA
08/03 Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run 100M; Wrightwood, CA
08/03 Beast of Big Creek Trail Race 10K, 20K; Hoodsport, WA
08/03 Grand Ridge Trail Run #2 5M, 13.1M, 26.2M, 50K; Issaquah, WA
08/03 Matanuska Peak Challenge 14M; Palmer, AK
08/03 Round Valley 5.4M; Greenville, CA
08/03 San Francisco Endurance Runs 50M, 100M; Sausalito, CA
08/03 Santa Cruz Trail Run 10K, 13.1M, 30K, 50K; Felton, CA
08/03 Summer Breeze 5K, 10K, 13.1M; San Leandro, CA
08/05 Tuesday Trails & Tacos 3M, 5M; Trabuco Canyon, CA
08/08 Into The Wild Rockin Summer Run #1 8K; Orange, CA
08/10 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff 5K, 13.1M; Flagstaff, AZ
08/10 CCC Trail Runs 10M, 25K; Umatilla, OR
08/10 Crystal Springs Trail Run #2 5M, 11M, 22M, 26.2M, 50K; Woodside, CA
08/10 Genoa Peak Completely Madathon and Only Half Madathon 13.1M, 26.2M; Genoa, NV
08/10 Hypnosis Night Runs 15K, 31K, 62K; Avondale, AZ
08/10 Mount Ashland Hill Climb 13.3M; Ashland, OR
08/10 Scott Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series #4 13M, 20M, 50K; Newcastle, WA

Rockies    
07/12 Hardrock Hundred 100M; Silverton, CO
07/13 Bridger Ridge Run Fundraiser  Bozeman, MT
07/13 Devils Backbone 25R, 50M; Bozeman, MT
07/13 Happy Jack Endurance Races 12H, 24H; Laramie, WY
07/13 Wild Iris Mountain Run 5K, 10K, 21K; Lander, WY
07/14 Barr Trail Mountain Run 12.5M; Manitou Springs, CO
07/14 Leadville Silver Rush 50 Trail Run 50M; Leadville, CO
07/14  XTERRA Beaver Creek Trail Run 10K, 21K; Avon, CO
07/20 Backcountry Run 8.3M, 16.1M; Ketchum, ID
07/20 BD Store Hidden Peak Hustle 5K, 10K; Salt Lake City, UT
07/20 Classic 10K Race 10K; Colorado Springs, CO; www.csgrandprix.com

07/20 Goats in the Meadow 7.3M; Elliston, MT
07/20 Grin and Bear It Trail Running Race 15K; Crested Butte, CO
07/20 Kendall Mountain Run 12M; Silverton, CO
07/20 Schweitzer Mountain Trail Run 3.5M, 10M; Sandpoint, ID
07/20 SHATS Trail Series Race #1 7.2M; Helena, MT
07/20 Spring Creek Memorial 9 Miler 5K, 9M; Steamboat Springs, CO
07/21 La Sportiva Vail Half Marathon 13.1M; Vail, CO; www.vailrec.com

07/27 Grand Mesa 100M; Cedaredge, CO
07/27 LaSportiva Eldora Trail 10K 10K; Nederland, CO
07/27 Living Journeys Half Marathon 13M; Mt. Crested Butte, CO; www.livingjourneys.org

07/27 Mount Falcon 15K; Morrison, CO
07/27 Skunk Hollow Sneaker Chase 8M, 16M; Casper, WY
07/27 Snow King HIll Climb 2.3M; Jackson, WY
07/27 Speedgoat 50K 50K; Snowbird, UT
07/31 Summit Trail Running Series - #4 5K, 10K; Breckenridge, CO
08/03 HURL Elkhorn Endurance Runs 13.1M, 50K, 50M; Montana City, MT; www.vigilanterunning.org

08/03 Jupiter Peak Steeplechase 16M; Park City, UT
08/03 Mt Werner Classic 50K; Steamboat Springs, CO; www.runningseries.com
08/03 Taos Ski Valley 10K Up And Over Trail Run 10K; Taos Ski Valley, NM; www.taosskivalley.com
08/03 Top Ten Mile 10M; Colorado Springs, CO; www.csgrandprix.com

08/03 Wild Idaho 50 Mile/KM Endurance Runs 50K, 50M; Crouch, ID
08/04 La Luz Trail Run 9M; Albuquerque, NM
08/04 La Sportiva Vail Berry Picker Trail Runs 3.2M; Vail, CO
08/04 Power of Four Trail 50K 50K; Aspen, CO
08/10 Beaver Creek Half Marathon 10K, 13.1M; Avon, CO
08/10 Bridger Ridge Run 20M; Bozeman, MT
08/10 El Vaquero Loco  25K, 50K; Afton, WY
08/10 Hunky Dory Half Marathon 13.1M; Breckenridge, CO
08/10 Kat'cina Mosa 100K Mountain Callenge Run 100K; Springville, UT
08/10 Kennebec Mountain Challenge 14M; Durango, CO
08/10 Park City Mini Trail Series 15K 15K; Park City, UT

Heartland    
07/13 Dances With Dirt Devil's Lake 10K, 13.1M, 26.2M, 50K, 50M; Baraboo, WI
07/13 Flirt With The Dirt Trail Race 5K; Findlay, OH; www.bvhealthsystem.org
07/13 Psycho Psummer Run Toto Run 10M, 20M, 50K; Kansas City, KS; www.psychowyco.com

07/13 Run the Keweenaw 6K, 12K, 25K; Copper Harbor, MI
07/13 Waugoshance Trail Marathon 5K, 13.1M, 26.2M; Cross Village, MI; www.greatlakesendurance.com

07/20 Dirty Burg 50K 10K, 50K, R; Belmont, MI
07/20 West Michigan MudVenture 5k 5K; Grandville, MI
07/21 Dirty Herd Summer Classic 6M; Grand Rapids, MI
07/21 Lost Lake Woods Club Trail Run 5K; Lincoln, MI
07/27 Birkie Trail Paintball Biathlon 5K, 13.1M, 26.2M, 26.2R; Hayward, WI
07/27 Christmas in July 6H, 12H, 24H; Libertyville, IL
07/27 Crow Peak Ascent 10K; Spearfish, SD; www.bhrctrails.com

07/27 Grand Island Trail Marathon 13.1M, 26.2M; Munising, MI
07/27 Minnesota Voyageur Trail Ultra 50M; Carlton, MN
07/28 Hell Creek on Heels 5k/25k 5K, 25K; Wilson Lake State Park, KS
08/02 Psych Night Trail Run 10K, 5K; Kansas City, KS
08/03 Eagle Creek Trail Marathon 6.55M, 13.1M, 26.2M; Indianapolis, IN; www.planetadventurerace.com

08/03 Planet Adventure Eagle Creek Trail Marathon 6.55M, 13.1M, 26.2M; Indianapolis, IN
08/03 The Legend 5M, 10M, 13.1M; Laingsburg, MI www.runlegend.com
08/04 Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run 100M; Willoughby Hills, OH
08/07 A Midsummer Nights Trail Run 5M; Cincinnati, OH
08/10 Howl at the Moon 8H; Danville, IL
08/10 Tahqua Trail Run 10K, 25K; Paradise, MI
08/10 Victoria Secret Dirty Half 13.1M; Rapid City, SD; www.bhrctrails.com

08/10 Zombie Dash- Kalamazoo 5K; Kalamazoo, MI

Northeast    
07/13 Moosalamoo Trail Races 14M, 36M; Goshen, VT
07/13 Run with the Beavers 5M, 10M; Chepachet, RI
07/13 Summer Extravaganza 5K, 10K; Waynesboro, VA
07/16 Fleet Feet Sports Dirt Cheap Trail Race Series #4 6M; Rochester, NY
07/20 0 SPF Trail 1/2 Marathon 13.1M; Victor, NY
07/20 Chasin For Chalfin 15K; Coatesville, PA
07/20 OSPF Trail Half Marathon 13.1M; Rochester, NY
07/20 Running With The Devil 3H, 6H, 12H; Vernon, NJ
07/20 Sproul 10K 10K; Hyner, PA
07/20 Vermont 100 Endurance Race 100K, 100M; West Windsor, VT
07/21 Forest Frolic 7K, 15K; Virgil, NY
07/21 Rosaryville Trail Runs  10K, 10M, 25M, 50K; Upper Marlboro, MD
07/21 USA Mountain Running Championships 8K, 12K; North Conway, NH
07/27 Allegheny Front Trail Run 12M, 30M; State College, PA
07/27 Blue Crab Bolt 10K Trail Running Series - #1 10K; Germantown, MD
07/27 Endless Summer 6 Hour Run 6H; Annapolis, ME
07/27 Kanawha Trace Trail Run 50K, 10K; Ona, WV
07/27 Wakely Dam Ultra 55K; Piseco Lake, NY
07/28 Escarpment Trail Run 30K; Windham, NY
08/03 Blue Crab Bolt 10K Trail Running Series - #2 10K; Germantown, MD
08/03 MD HEAT Race 25K; Baltimore, MD; www.mdheatrace.com

08/04 Grings Mill Run 5K, 10K; Reading, PA
08/06 Summer Sunset 5k at Pine Hill Park 5K; Rutland, VT
08/08 Forge The Gorgeous 7M; Moravia, NY

South    
07/13 Capt'n Karl's: Muleshoe Bend 10K, 30K, 60K; Marble Falls, TX
07/13 Gulf Winds Summer Trail Series - Swamp Forest Trail 4.5M; Tallahassee, FL
07/13 Hot Top 6.2M; Kings Mountain, NC
07/13 Otter Creek Eight Miler 8M; Louisville, KY
07/13 Troop Trot 39K 10K, 39K; Villa Rica, GA
07/13 XTERRA Magnolia Hill Trail Run 6K, 16K; Navasota, TX
07/13 XTERRA North Carolina Whitewater Center 3.5M, 8.25M; Charlotte, NC
07/14 Spillway Classic Trail Run 3M; Norco, LA
07/16 Wolf Run 7M; Kingsport, TN; www.RunTriCities.org

07/20 Cremator 50 50M; Bluffton, SC
07/20 Dirty Spokes Sawnee Mountain  3.5M; Cumming, GA
07/20 Full Moon 50K 25K, 50K; Perryville, AR
07/20 Start2Finish Open Water Challenge- Cane Creek 8K; Waxhaw, NC
07/26 El Chupacabra de San Antonio 5K/10K 5K, 10K; San Antonio, TX
07/27 Cedar Ridge Trail Run 18K, 36K; Dallas, TX
07/27 Gulf Winds Summer Trail Series - Magnolia Trail 3.5M; Tallahassee, FL
07/27 Tomahawk Triathlon 39K; Waxhaw, NC
07/27 XTERRA North Carolina Beech Mountain 5K, 15K; Beech Mountain, NC
08/03 Capt'n Karl's: Colorado Bend 10K, 30K, 60K; Lampasas, TX
08/03 Dirty Spokes - Red Top Roaster 9.9M, 3.1M; Cartersville, GA
08/03 Gulf Winds Summer Trail Series - Redbug Trail 4.5M; Tallahassee, FL
08/03 Hot to Trot 8 Hour Race 8H; Lithia Springs, GA
08/10 Annihilator 50K 50K; Connelly Springs, NC
08/10 Still Hollow Trail Runs 10K, 13.1M; Chattanooga, TN; www.rockcreek.com/greenway/

International   
07/13 Knee Knacker North Shore Trail Run 30M; West Vancouver, BC
07/13 Quebec Mega Trail 5K, 10K, 25K; Quebec City, QC
07/13 The Limberlost Challenge 14K, 28K, 42K, 56K; Huntsville, ON; www.thelimberlostchallenge.com

07/14 The North Face Dirty Feet Trail Series #3 5K, 10K, 13.1M; Vernon, BC
07/14 Trail de Pietrosella 12K, 21K; Pietrosella, France
07/20 5 Peaks Trail Run - Camrose 5K, 15K; Camrose, AB
07/20 5 Peaks Trail Run - Cypress 5K, 15K; West Vancouver, BC
07/20 5 Peaks Trail Run - Sundre Snake Hills 5K, 10K; Sundre, AB
07/20 Eiger Ultra Trail 101K; Grindelwald, Switzerland
07/20 Full Monty 12K, 25K, 50K; Victoria, BC
07/20 Risnjak Trail 30K; Crni Lug, Croatia
07/20 Try A Trail 6K 6K; Winnipeg, MB
07/26 Chiemgauer 100 100K, 100M; Ruhpolding, Germany
07/27 5 Peaks Trail Run - Rawdon 5K, 15K; Rawdon, ON
07/27 Herring Run Trail Race 11K, 22K; Mascarene, NB
07/27 Mary Leliveld's Happy Trails Run 10K; North Vancouver, BC
07/28 Bill's Great Peak Ascent 15K, 30K; North Vancouver, BC
07/28 You Yangs Trail Runs .05K, 50K, 30K, 15K, 10K; Geelong VIC, Australia
08/01 Elbrus Ultra Trail 105K; Azau, Russia
08/03 Classic Inca Trail To Machu Picchu #2 30K; Cusco, Peru
08/03 Elbrus Mountain Marathon 42K; Verkhnii Baksan, Russia
08/03 Elbrus Trail 30K; Verhnii Baksan, Russia
08/03 Inca Trail Marathon To Machu Picchu #2 26.2M; Cusco, Peru
08/04 Devilbend fun run 5K, 10K, 21.1K; Devilbend Reservoir, Australia
08/04 Port Edward Odyssey Adventure Race  Port Edward, Natal, South Africa
08/04 Yukon River Trail Marathon 13.1M, 26.2M, R; Whitehorse, YT
08/07 Mongolia Sunrise To Sunset 42K, 100K; Lake Hovsgol, Mongolia
08/09 Dirty Girls Run 12H, 24H, 48H; Mansfield, ON; www.dirtyrunnerproductions.com

08/09 Swiss Irontrail 46K, 80K, 136K, 201K; Pontresina, Switzerland
08/10 ArcÆteryx Squamish 50 23K, 50K, 50M; Squamish, BC; www.Squamish50.com

08/10 TrailCross Edmonton 2K; Edmonton, AB
08/10 Try A Trail 14K 14K; Winnipeg, MB

Join thousands of runners in the 2013 Trophy Series. You're in the running as soon as you run a Trophy Series race. You start accumulating points in either the marathon and longer category or under a marathon category. Click here for details about the Trophy Series.

For more information on these and other races, please visit trailrunnermag.com

Copyright © 2013 ---.
All Rights Reserved.

Big Stone Publishing TERMS OF USE

Big Stone Publishing, 2567 Dolores Way, Carbondale, CO 81623