Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 47
photos courtesy John Cash
Left: John Cash pauses on the riverfront near his home in Washington. The 46-year-old knows no limits as he pursues adventures that have included running
across Missouri and Tennessee, an Ironman and numerous 100-mile races. Above left: John speeds toward the ﬁnish during the Rockbridge Revenge 50K,
which he won in 4 hours and 34 minutes. Above right: John pushed this stroller across Missouri on his Route 66 run. He ran the last 17 miles with a ﬂat tire.
minutes at a time on a roadside mat. John lost most of the
County. After that John parked his bike in the basement
skin off the bottom of his feet but continued to run to a
and did nothing but run for the next two years. "I ran every
second-place ﬁnish, despite stopping to change a ﬂat tire
day," John recalls. "I went to the trails all the time. I had so
for an elderly couple he met at the 200-mile mark. It took a
much fun. I started running the trails like a crazy person."
new course record to beat him.
Skipping the usual progression, John started out runAs if all of that wasn't enough, John found new ways to
ning trail ultras. His ﬁrst attempt at 100 miles was on the
test his mettle during 2020. He ended 2019 with the fastest
Ozark Trail, home to a race held annually in November.
100 miles during the Dreadmill 48 Hour Endurance ChalGrowing up near Salem, John spent a lot of time in the
lenge. John needed two treadmills to complete this one.
Ozarks and felt right at home here. His time was just under
He repeated the performance in April for the Quarantine
24 hours for the 2010 race, good for sixth place. He ran
Backyard Ultra, running 163 miles in 39 hours. He did
the tough race - which features 15,000 feet of elevation
another Backyard Ultra in May, this time on a treadmill.
change - three times, ﬁnishing as high as third place.
Then, as COVID-19 shut down the country, he embarked
He jumped into the Mark Twain 100-miler, a four-lap
on a bucket list adventure that saw him run across Misrace held on the Berryman Trail, and set a course record.
souri on Route 66 - pushing a stroller holding food, drinks
Then he found a new passion."I was new to ultras," John
recalls. "I was running trails. Then a friend did
and spare clothes for 337 miles over four days, 15
a 24-hour race and did 115 miles. I was in awe.
hours and 47 minutes.
"It was a great adventure," John says. "I had a
I was curious how far I could run."
He switched his training to the roads and enblast. It was just me and I had to rely on myself for
tered his ﬁrst 24-hour race. The goal here is to see
everything. That's exciting."
John attempted another cross-state run a
how many miles can be completed in the time limit.
month later on the Katy Trail. He was shooting
John managed 130 miles, stopping two hours early
for the fastest known time and was on pace for
but still winning the race.
that honor when his 46-year-old body gave out.
That distance peaked at 154.6 miles as John
Facing possible kidney failure, he opted to end the run.
won the Desert Solstice 24-hour in Arizona. He qualiﬁed
The wake-up call has John reassessing his priorities.
twice for the U.S. National 24-hour team and competed
He's training for another Ironman triathlon. But as he
in the International Association of Ultrarunners 24 Hour
speculates on future adventures a gleam enters his eye.
Endurance Championship in Turin, Italy - at 42.
"I recommend for anybody, whether it's biking, running
Ultrarunning has taken John across the country, comor whatever your choice of the adventure might be, get out
peting in a wide variety of distance events. For a time, he
there and see some stuff. Empower yourself on the road.
was competing in 10 to 12 ultras a year, with two at the
Do your adventure and I think you will just be better for it."
100-mile distance. He set ﬁve course records and won 42
trophies in 58 races. All were tough, but John says the bigJohn and his wife, Meghan, are hosting the 6- and 12gest sufferfest was the Vol State 500K. This race involved
hour LX3 timed race in Washington on April 24, 2021. It's a
running across Tennessee - roughly 314 miles - in July.
good intro for someone wanting to run far. For more details
For three days and 6 hours, John pounded the pavevisit www.facebook.com/themeangoose.
ment. He slept a total of just 5 hours, mostly less than 30
NOVEMBER 2020 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP
Rural Missouri - November 2020
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2020
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - Cover1
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Rural Missouri - November 2020 - Contents
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