As Christians we are called to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. If you are anything like me, this is an extremely difficult thing to do. There just never seems to be a good time to broach the subject. To be honest, I am afraid of the awkwardness this discussion might cause.

Running has torn down the awkwardness and created a platform for me to talk freely about my faith. It is my hope that these stories will help draw you closer to our creator – through whom we all have the strength to move mountains.

God has given me a body built for endurance. Over the years, I have run a few races and met many wonderful and interesting people. These posts contain my stories. You do not need to be a runner to relate to these events. We are all running the race of life. We all have our peaks and valleys that we have to climb and descend.

My Family

My Family
My Lovely Wife Christina & Sons: Chase, Cruz, & Dash Dexter

YouTube Video of 2010 McNaughton 200 Mile Trail Run

Friday, August 30, 2013

Your Family magazine

Last month, my wife Christina and I were interviewed for a local Dane County, WI area magazine “Your Family” on an article for endurance training. Low and behold, we made the cover story! Our boys even got in on the action:


The article can be viewed online at: 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Surrounded by Shoes

A local photographer came by for some shots for an upcoming article on endurance training. Thought you might enjoy seeing some of his favorites:

Christina and I surrounded by running shoes (Brooks for me and Saucony for her).

Here we are with the boys (Chase - 11, Cruz - 9, and Dash - 7) in front of the house. With a house full of boys, Christina needs a PINK bike. 

Oh, we are always so giddy and kind to each other in the kitchen...making each other recovery shakes after a good workout (hahahahahaha). All seriousness though, CarboPro products rock!

I always imagined when I got two treadmills, that my bride and I would run many miles side by side in the basement workout room. But alas, this staged shot from last night is the only time this has happened :-). (And yes, I do have the entire bobble head collection from "The Office")

 Ever wondered what type of award you would get if you won a 200 mile trail run? A tree stub with a hammer!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Christina Dexter's 2013 Ironman Lake Placid Race Report

The Dexter family was in Lake Placid, New York a few weeks ago while my wife Christina competed in the Ironman triathlon (swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles). What follows is her humorous race report. I thought you might enjoy reading it.

Here’s my list of learning experiences from Ironman Lake Placid 2013:

1)     Lesson Learned: Challenge your Anxiety Disorder. The day before Ironman is when you drop-off your bike & transition bags. I do not recommend this format:
Step 1 – take a trip to the nearest ER with one of your children who is in terrible pain with an ear infection.
Step 2 – get halfway there and realize neither you nor husband have wallet (no insurance cards and no money) so drive back home.
Step 3 – realize by the time you drive back and head out again you may not fall within check-in time. So leave Cruz with Ryan and now make plans with Ryan’s brother and sis-in-law to drop-off Ironman gear.

2)     Lesson Learned: All Ironman Swim Starts are Scary. I have now experienced an IM mass swim start, rolling 1st come/1st serve swim start and rolling self-seed/projected time wave start (like a marathon start – gather in chute next to sign w/your projected swim time) where you sprint into the water from the beach (Lake Placid was changed from a mass start to this format this year). Here’s my assessment of the various swim starts.

            Mass Start (IMWI, IMAZ)   Rolling 1st Come (IMKY)   Rolling Wave (IMLP)
Placement:            chaos                                       chaos                             chaos
Overall swim:     feels long                                 feels long                      feels long
Beat up:                  yes                                           yes                              yes

Bottom line is they’re all tough in different ways. I think Ironman is leaning towards the Rolling wave/projected time start to be ‘safer’ as people have died during mass starts. However, this particular format at Lake Placid is 2 loops. So we run out of the water to the turn around and go back in. Therefore, I don’t know how much ‘safer’ it was for individuals in later waves as the 2nd loop was completely littered with people so they were swum over anyway… I think the ideal scenario would be this type rolling wave start but an out and back course.

3)     Lesson Learned: Don’t Think You’re cool. After my experience at Kentucky (I didn’t realize I needed to basically spend the night in line to get a good swim placement start -1st come/1st serve), I was DETERMINED to get a good spot at Lake Placid after I heard format was changed to ‘rolling’. Naturally, I assumed that meant it was the same as Kentucky. So we set our alarms for 2:45 (totally normal) and were down at the swim start by 3:30 a.m. … 1st IN LINE!!!! Soon, others arrived and oddly they were there because of Ironman Kentucky experience, as well… WE WERE ROCKSTARS!! It wasn’t until right before the actual start that we realized people were gathering under projected time signs and we were going to run in from the beach. The 6 of us that had been standing there for hours felt pretty stupid … good thing we were 3 hours early!!!!
4)     Lesson Learned: Don’t Make Fun of Others. In the past I’ve always been entertained by people ‘warming up’ before an Ironman. I would say, “I’ve got all day to warm-up!” haha. HOWEVER, when the swim start is a sprint off the beach, it is probably necessary. I didn’t expect the sensation of the heavy arms/legs that probably happens from the surge of blood when you are SPRINTING into the water from the beach (I’ve had this happen in sprint races before but never in an Ironman. Not a good feeling entering a 2.4 mile swim). THIS would have been a good day to warm-up! Standing for 3 hours isn’t enough activity…
5)     Lesson Learned: It’s Good to be King. The Pro’s at this race had such an advantage! We were not allowed to swim on the inside of the buoys (we kept buoys to the right; pro’s had buoys to the left). So not only did they begin 10 minutes early- their course was shorter and they didn’t have mass amounts of people to swim over! I think from now on I will enter the pro division (J). Don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoy being elbowed in the face and constantly whacked on the back (note: wetsuits are really worn for their armor-like properties), but a long swim with the entertainment of watching other fend for their lives might be nice!
6)     Lesson Learned: Challenge Your Anxiety Disorder…More. 2 years ago I wrote about descending the hills on my bike reaching the speed of 50 mph. Now add rain …
7)     Lesson Learned: Always Be Colorful. If you can’t be fast. Be colorful! Last year I bought a new bike that is pink camouflage. My old bike is silver. Color brings conversation! Even if the conversation is as simple as, “nice bike!”, I will take it! The bike portion is loooonnnnnggg for me and as an extrovert and “social exerciser” it’s like sensory deprivation for a psychological experiment (proceed to #9 to gain greater insight to this). 
8)     Lesson Learned: Perspective is Everything. Funny … looking back at my IM Lake Placid report from 2011- I felt so great during the event. I thought everything was just wonderful & not terribly difficult…Including the hills on the bike course. This year … the hills were MOUNTAINS! Lol! The bike course was HARD! Lol! The run course was HILLY! … I’m fairly confident the hills didn’t grow. And Lake Placid is the 2nd oldest Ironman out there. I think the course is the same!
9)     Lesson Learnedpain + isolation = Christina crazy. The people in my head have lots of interesting things to say over the course of several hours on a bike feeling not-so-good. Here’s some examples:
      “…is that a hawk? It looks like a dinosaur.”
“… is that a car next to me? Nope, it’s my shadow…”
“…big wheels keep on turning … proud mary keep on burning …and we’re rolling …”
“…maybe I will flat. Maybe I can purposefully bike over something so I can flat … damn, Ryan’s family drove a long way to come to this… they would be disappointed …maybe if I fell over this rail into this pretty lake”
“…If pink were a smell, what smell would it be?”
“…what if a boulder slid down this mountain and took me out...?”
“…Boulders… What the HELL was I thinking when I registered for Ironman Boulder next year??!!!”
10)  Damn! I’m not gonna win! Kidding, of course! About mile 40 on the bike, my legs started cramping/seizing. In the past, I’ve seen people on the side of the road rubbing their legs from this, but had never experienced it. Now I have! Yay! I’ll never know why – my nutrition plan was going smoothly. Who knows? You never know WHAT will happen on Ironman day!
11)   Lesson Learned: PowerBar Perform drink STILL gross.  Enough said.
12)   Lesson Learned: REALLY Don’t Make Fun of Others. I’ve made jokes about things I’ve seen during the run but I’m fairly confident I’m on someone else’s top 10 list of funniest things seen. Due to the cramping of my legs, every time I came upon a hill, I would take both hands and poke myself very hard in the origin of the hamstrings (a.k.a my ASS) to prevent them from locking up. So, essentially I spent a good portion of the marathon grabbing my own ass. I didn’t actually realize that I was doing this until a volunteer in a golf cart pulled up beside me and asked, “are you okay??”
13)   Lesson Learned: Always Appreciate Others. I’m always thankful to volunteers during any race. On a day that was in and out of rain downpour during both bike and run, those volunteers had a ROUGH day. At least the participants were moving! That being said, you know you’re in pretty bad shape when going thru an aid station (run) and a volunteer says, “Here. Take this water. You REALLY look like you need it!”  I did not feel encouraged.
14)   Lesson Learned: It’s Good to be Loved : Ryan walked/talked me thru the barren portion of the ‘run’ (complete with downpours).Therefore, the poor guy experienced emotions equivalent to PMS on crack: Tears when my legs would cramp; anger when he’d say something like, “if you would just run a little now, you could still do a ___ marathon” (cant take the competitiveness out of my hubby!); joy when the marathon numbers finally entered the 20’s; frustration when the marathon numbers finally entered the 20’s;  laughter as he’d draw my attention to something peculiar happening around me that I’d otherwise not notice. Anger when he’d say, “only __ miles to go!”. I suppose this made my ‘normal Christina’ moodiness seem not so bad! Haha (I haven’t asked him if it seemed the same … )

I will always say that every finish is a GREAT finish and I feel blessed to be able to do these. I certainly didn’t feel as fabulous as I did 2 years ago when I was there. However, crossing the finish line after dealing with cramping/seizing legs all day was certainly just as gratifying!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Madcity 100K Race This Weekend

I don’t want any of you to think I have retired for running after my Barkley experience a few weeks ago.

I will be competing at a 100 kilometer road race (about 62 miles) this weekend in my hometown of Madison, WI. This is a race I have done a few times before and is actually the US National Championships at that distance. A lot of ultrarunners do not prefer running on asphalt, so there are not a lot of runners competing (actually only 15 of us). I’ll be wearing #7.

This is a 10K loop around a nature area (arboretum near the University of Wisconsin campus). 

The race starts at 6:30 AM tomorrow morning and split times for each loop will be listed in real time at:

I am hoping to run a very steady race of 54 min per loop which would give me an overall finish time of around 9 hours. This would be a 20 min PR for me at this race. I usually go out way too fast and peter off in the end. I’m hoping age has made me smarter.

I hope you are all doing well and the recent events in Boston certainly put all this into perspective.

All the best -

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Barkley Experience

Barkley is hands down the hardest endurance event I have ever participated in. I did not even make it around 1 loop. My mission was doomed from the start. After I had trouble keeping up on the uphill climbs with you some of the runners (yes – I need to be a better packer - I was carrying 2 packs).  I realized I had the map but did not have the written directions as to the book's locations. I was able to kinda tag with others and find the first 8 books. I was alone on the climb up to Indian Knob. Ended up at the highest knob and thought maybe the 9th book will just be there. Little did I know that the book was inside a “cave”. I may have been on the wrong knob – who knows. I thought I’ll just wait for someone else to come – waited for about 45 one. Thought – I don’t have this book – I won't be allowed to continue. 

In hindsight I should have just followed the route anyways. But I decided to run about 1/10th of a mile to where the “marked” trails get close to where I was and run them back to camp. I ended up getting disoriented and somewhat lost. After about an hour of running around in what seemed to be circles to started to get a little dark. I seriously started freaking out and thought I was lost and had know idea where I was now on the map. I have never experienced anything like that. 

Once I got my wits I made a plan, the highways are around the park and I knew if I just set my compass to SE I would run into them. I crossed some Jeep roads and was very tempted to take them but stayed on task. I just figured I if I can only make it to the Highway at least I would know I can get back. What a feeling when I escaped the woods and found the road. 

I ended up about 1 mile from where the Highways intersect. Ran the final 10 or so miles on the road in the rain back to the park. I thought someplace might be open to call and let the crew/family know I was OK. But everything was closed as it was after 9 PM at this time. I also considered knocking on someone’s door but feared being shot. Nothing could have prepared me for this...I had to see it with my own eyes.

My local paper The Verona Press just ran a story in the April 11, 2013 edition on my attempt at the Barkley Marathons: 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Following the 2013 Barkley Marathons

Friends -

I am leaving shortly for TN to run the Barkley Marathons. The race will begin sometime between midnight and noon on Saturday.

We will try to update as much as possible through Twitter. The loop is about 25 miles long and will take around 10-12 hours to finish. The updates will be few and far between but we will update as much as possible. I know there is one place about 2/3rd of the course that my crew can come meet me.

1. Point your web browser to
- No need to sign up for the service just go to the web page and manually refresh it to check for updates

2. Go to and watch the twitter badge for updates. The badge will update automatically

3. Not going to be by your computer but still want to follow along?
- Go to Ryan's Twitter page at
- Choose to "Follow" or text “follow dexterpunisher” to 40404
- updates will be delivered to your phone via text message

Demah will be with me and can be reached on his cell at 608-239-3941. He can also get text messages. Just say who you are.

The following note is from the race and is a general way to follow us.
Dear all,
To get race updates during upcoming Barkley Marathons there are many options including:
1. Follow @BarkleyMarathon using your Twitter account;
2. Go to and read the twitter feed on the right hand side of the page;
3. Go to Twitter and search for @BarkleyMarathon and see the tweets there.There are several ways to follow the Barkley Marathons while we are competing.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What is the Barkley Marathons?

From Wikipedia: 

The Barkley Marathons is a 100 mile run and a 60 mile 'fun run' held annually in Frozen Head State Park near WartburgTennessee in late March or early April.
The course itself, which has changed distance, route, and elevation many times since its inaugural run in 1986, currently consists of a 20-mile (32 km) loop with no aid stations except water at two points along the route and the runner's parked car at the beginning of the loop. Runners of the 100 Mile version run this loop five times, with loops three and four being run in the opposite direction and loop five being runner's choice. Runners of the 60 mile 'fun run' (considered to be harder than Hardrock) complete three circuits of the loop.
With 54,200 feet (16,500 m) of accumulated vertical climb, the 100 mile run is considered to be one of the more challenging ultramarathonsheld in the United States, if not the world.
In addition to running, competitors must find between nine and 11 books (varies per year) and remove a page from each book as proof of completion.
The cut-off time for the 100 mile race is 12 hours per loop, and the cut-off for the 60 mile version of the race is 40 hours overall, which averages out to approximately 13 hours and 20 minutes per loop. Since the race's inception in 1986, only twelve runners out of about 700 have completed the 100 mile race within the official 60 hour cut-off (Mark Williams 1995, David Horton and Blake Wood 2001, Ted "Cave Dog" Keizer 2003, Jim Nelson and Mike Tilden 2004, Brian Robinson 2008 (55:42:27), Andrew Thompson 2009, Jonathan Basham 2010, Brett Maune 2011, Brett Maune 52:03:08 (new course record), Jared Campbell 56:00:15, John Fegyveresi 59:41:21 for 2012). In 2006 nobody finished even the 60 mile 'fun run' in under 40 hours. The best women's achievement is Sue Johnston's 66 miles (106 km) in 2001. More than 30 competitors failed to reach first book (two miles).
The race is limited to 35 runners and usually fills up quickly the day registration opens. Potential entrants must complete an essay on "Why I Should be Allowed to Run in the Barkley." The race starts at different times each year and is signaled by the lighting of a cigarette.
The course was designed by Gary Cantrell. His idea for the race was inspired upon hearing about Martin Luther King, Jr's assassin James Earl Ray escaping from prison, and making it only 8 miles (13 km) after running 55 hours in the woods. Cantrell said to himself "I could do at least 100 miles." Thus, the Barkley Marathons was born.