Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 46

RM | NEIGHBORS

by Jim McCarty
jmccarty@ruralmissouri.coop

T

100-mile man
John Cash goes the distance for
extreme adventure

46

RURAL MISSOURI | NOVEMBER 2020

here's a certain progression
most runners go through. They
start with a 5K, and if that
goes well, move up to a 10K or
even a half-marathon. The pinnacle is
reached by running a marathon, 26.2
miles of bragging rights for anyone
willing to do the work.
Washington's John Cash skipped
a few steps. He jumped feet first into
the world of ultrarunning. Make that
competitive ultrarunning.
Technically, an ultra is any race
over marathon distance. Typical races
are 50K, 50 miles or even 100 miles.
Mere mortals have slogged through
every distance, with some satisfied
just to be on their feet at the finish.
"I did an ultra before I even knew
what one was," John says.
The race was the Brew to Brew
44-miler connecting two breweries in
the Kansas City area. John jumped
in on a whim, unprepared for the
distance.
"My longest training run was 16
miles," he says. "The race took me
7 hours. It was so terrible I swore I
would never do it again. But once I
started training those distances came
easier."
John goes into everything he does
with a singular purpose. "I want to
win," he says. "I'm a competitor. I'll
be the first one to shake the winner's
hand if I'm not first. But at the same
time, I'm trying to beat them if I can."
Unlike countless other runners,
John passed on track and cross
country in high school even though he
showed promise as a miler. Instead he
opted for basketball and baseball because he thought they were more fun.
Graduation brought on a mild case
of depression, he says, due to a deep
competitive desire he couldn't shake.
He raced cars, mountain bikes and
motorcycles. He played softball. He
entered increasingly more difficult
triathlons, including an Ironman in
Louisville. He dabbled with competitive bodybuilding. But none of these
scratched the itch he felt for extreme
competition.
Then a friend introduced John to
the St. Louis Ultrarunners Group.
He joined the SLUGs on one of their
20-mile "fun" runs along the challenging Green Rock Trail in St. Louis



Rural Missouri - November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2020

Contents
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - Contents
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Rural Missouri - November 2020 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - Cover4
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