Thomas Diehl

Club Member Since 10/30/2018


City: Colorado Springs State: CO

Favorite Shoe: NB Minimus Size: 10.5

Age: 35.8 years old

Marital Status: Married

Family members:
Julia Hilliard and our trusty superdog Milo

What I do for work:
United States Air Force, Cybersecurity = a lot of sitting, hence the fascination with running. I've been enlisted 16 years and looking to retire in a short 4 more.

Places I’ve called home and why I like where I am now:
Chillicothe, Ohio is my original home, but 'home' to me is Eltville, Germany. The socialite nature in Germany means you can run the entire country without hitting private property or being blocked by annoying fences. I love the Springs for all the running and hiking immediately nearby, and the infinite sunshine. Mountains are life.

When I started running and what got me started:
I originally started running in middle school on a whim. I joined the track team and was too slow for everything so they threw me on the 1600. I jumped up to longer runs (3-5 miles) in high school just for fun, and my time in the Air Force had us doing 3 mile runs every PT session. In 2007, I went to Ramstein Air Base in Germany for temporary duty from Aviano, Italy, and had nothing to do one Saturday, so I planned to 'run the base', which ended up being about 6-7 miles, the longest I had run. In 2009, while living in Germany, I enjoyed getting lost on infinite trails and randomly decided to sign up for a half-marathon since I was already running 8-9 milers. The half was boring (road) and not terribly challenging, so I signed up for a marathon. The marathon in Karlsruhe Germany was amazing, but it was road and I was quickly bored of road races. In 2012, I did the Saint Louis Rock and Roll marathon to see the city. I also did my first trail marathon outside of Memphis and one last road race for the Rock and Roll marathon in Seattle. In 2013, I ran a 32-miler in San Francisco (San Marin Ultra, AMAZING), and in the same year I did the Pikes Peak marathon (AMAZING). Somehow I ended up back on the road for the Air Force Marathon in 2014. To close out another stint in Germany, in 2015 I did the Dresden Marathon to run with a friend (who ended up bailing, leaving me to yet another unwanted road race), and I ran the Trail Des Marcaires 32-miler in the Alsace region of France (EPIC) in May of 2018 before returning to the states again. I am signed up for the Dead Horse 32-miler in Moab November 2018. And here I am, an addict. I'd like to run a 50-miler at some point, but I haven't been dedicated enough to train appropriately...yet.

What does running mean to me:
Movement equals life. Stagnancy promotes disease and death, therefore...keep moving! There is too much to see and you can see it faster while running (instead of hiking). I don't meditate, unless you count running as a form of meditation. It's my release, my excuse for admiring nature, my means of prolonging life, and my connection to our primal instincts. It's also just a really good way to make food and beer taste 10x as amazing after a nourishment-depleting event.

Running accomplishments: View my Pikes Peak Ascent/Marathon results
Nothing noteworthy, but my current PR for a marathon is 3:28 (Dresden, Germany), and I'd like to complete the next Pikes Peak Marathon in less than 6 hours. I don't necessarily run for speed, rather for entertainment and peace (aka slow).

What I like about trail/mountain running:
All of it. I love the variation of every step, the view from the top of an ascent, the smells, the animals, and the other runners who, despite how tired they may be, always exchange a smile.

Favorite running trail and why:
For Colorado Springs, my favorite trail is currently the Intemann trail from Red Rocks to Manitou and back. I haven't explored terribly much, so for now, this is it.

Favorite trail/mountain race and why:
Thus far my favorite race was the Trail Des Marcaires in France or the Scott Rock the Top Half Marathon in Ehrwald Austria, just below the Zugspitz. These races were both mountains and involved perfect sunny/cool weather, lots of smiling faces, and had killer food available at the end.

Best running experience:
The Pikes Peak marathon was my best experience because I had never been to Colorado prior to the race and that was my Welcome. The way up was obviously hard, but I recall sprinting down in joy, so fast that when I finished, I couldn't stand up for an hour without getting dizzy. So instead I got a massage, a foot ice-bath, and joined some friends at Hell's Kitchen Pizza on the strip for the best pizza slice I've ever had in my life.

Worst running experience:
Ironically my worst experience was the Air Force Marathon in 2014. I had just come off another marathon 2 months prior and hadn't ran a single day since, thinking I could just easily do another event. I ran great for 13 miles, but after that, my body said 'screw this, we're done' and the remaining 13 miles were a miserable smorgasbord of pain, annoyance, frustration, and agony. At 19 miles I even tried to convince an aid station that I couldn't go on and needed a ride to the finish line, but they didn't have a cart available and instead gave me salt and electrolytes. My finish time was upwards of 4:30, and my average is typically 3:30. I only finished because I wanted the medal to put towards my eventual goal of running a marathon in every state.

Neatest thing found on a run:
I found a killer bike pump on a run once, and judging by how far down in the dried mud it was, I presumed it had been forgotten about.

Running related bathroom stop story:
Everyone's had to lean on a tree to do the deed at some point...but somehow, the body finds great ways to not have to go during 6 hours of running. My worst experience was staying up until midnight and having 4 pumpkin beers before a marathon the next day...bowels were not pleasant that day.

Running pet peeves:
Too much gear/trinkets/etc. One needs shoes, water, and some food. I think retractable sticks should only be for those prone to injury or with the inability to complete a run without extreme pain due to age/health/etc. People under 40 should be banned from using poles. Also people who run with music blasting from a phone speaker or a backpack...

Something non running related that no one would guess about me:
No one really knows I play guitar. I don't share it often because I'm conveniently only good when playing alone. I also put a lot of time into rock-climbing, but don't know many climbers who are also distance-runners.

Other hobbies and interests:
Bouldering, art, guitar, live music/concerts, snowboarding, world-travel, literature, kayaking, hiking, camping. Is beer and whiskey a hobby?

Other stuff:
I'm just here to run and meet other cool people who do the same.

Page last modified: 10/30/2018


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