What follows is a list of some of my favorite links. If you'd prefer not to be associated with The Big Lubelllski due to my personal opinions, political views, or any other reason, please let me know at email@example.com and I will remove your link. In contrast, if you are not currently listed and would like to be, please let me know.
Blogs of Endurance Athletes: All of these folks have inspired me in one way or another!
Yassine Diboun - http://www.yassinediboun.com/yassinediboun/blog - Yassine is one of the nicest dudes you will ever meet and one of the most bad ass athletes as well. He is a source of advice and encouragement for all things ultra running and has a resume that will impress anyone. Yassine is a co-founder of Animal Athletics, also listed on this page.
Willie McBride - http://williegmcbride.blogspot.com/ - Willie is the other co-founder of Animal Athletics and has done some outright ridiculous endurance events. Think along the lines of Fat Dog 120 and Tahoe 200 (upcoming 2014). The man is a beast, plain and simple.
Jason Lehman - http://jasonleman.blogspot.com/ - Jason is a straight up speed demon. He smokes people and makes me look like I'm standing in place. All the while, he is laughing, jumping, dancing, rocking 80's gear, and having a total blast. The fluidity and relaxation with which he runs are remarkable.
Rick Kneedler - http://soleofthewild.blogspot.com/ - Rick is one of the most unpretentious guys around but he absolutely hammers the sport of ultra running. He's known for disappearing solo on major Columbia River Gorge adventures, often making his own trail to a lake or unnamed summit or whatever else he wants to visit.
Amy Sproston - http://amysproston.blogspot.com/ - Amy is well, a pro. I think she's the single most accomplished athlete among the runners I know. Despite that, she frequently trains and imbibes with the regular folks such as myself. She is a wealth of experience in international running. In addition, and this is my favorite part, she loves cats!
Desiree Marek - http://www.runningbecause.com/ - Desiree is an incredibly inspiring runner. She hammers, hard, at every event she enters and is a master at winning the physical struggle of races by dominating the mental aspect (to take nothing away from her physical skill, she's very well trained). At the same time, she will always greet you with a smile and words of encouragement before, during, and after your own event. A true class act.
Candice Burt - http://www.wilddefined.com/ - Candice is one word, ridiculous. I don't know her personally but she's a veteran of many very long, solo, fast packing adventures and ultra runs. She also happens to be the race director for the upcoming Tahoe 200, arguably the most challenging ultra event planned to date.
James Varner - http://varnermiles.com/ - James is yet again, a totally unassuming guy. However, he is directly responsible for causing a great deal of pain and suffering to many an ultra runner due to the challenging races he puts on through Rainshadow Running (also listed below). If you don't see James grinding out miles in the wilderness, you can probably find him high-fiving people as they finish one of his incredible races.
Kilian Jornet - http://www.kilianjornet.cat/en/blog/ - Need I say more? Kilian is destroying endurance event records left and right. He is also one of the most humble gentlemen I have ever seen. Hopefully one day I'll be good enough to enter a race where this phenom is toeing the line.
Anna Frost - http://frostysfootsteps.wordpress.com/ - Another pro, I am inspired by Anna for her absolute love of life. And what's not to love in her life. She travels the world racing the most gorgeous courses around. She runs with joy and gratitude for the natural world and epitomizes sheer bliss.
Bodywork Professionals: If you are injured, looking for injury prevention, or looking for training of any kind, look no further.
Brad Farra - http://www.drbradfarra.com/ - Brad, as I have already told many of you, is a straight up HEALER. Many people fear or question chiropractors, but that is a mistake. Insurance companies don't typically cover chiropractors because they work and insurance companies make money off of sick people. If you are having pain of any kind, go see Brad. He is an endurance athlete and hard core mountaineer as well so it's unlikely he will tell you to rest unless it's absolutely critical. He knows how much we hate to rest. Go see him, it is 100 worth it. And they can bill insurance too!
Sandy Homer - http://www.restoreandrelax.com/ - Sandy, my massage therapist. Oh how do I explain Sandy in a way that will not be censored by the FCC??? Sandy should not be reached if you want a spa style massage. She will not gently relieve your stress with calming strokes fueled with love. NO. She will smash all that scar tissue into oblivion and help your recovery immensely. I'll spare you her nickname, but it rhymes with bevel and level!!
Antje Fimmel - http://www.clubsports.com/oregon/trainer/antje-fimmel - Antje is without a doubt the most bad ass personal trainer I have ever met. She practices and teaches the "eat clean and train dirty" paradigm and she is very passionate about her lifestyle and her clients. Whether you are new to weight training or a seasoned vet, Antje will be able to develop a program to meet your goals.
Josh Hunt - http://twistportland.com/ - Josh runs one of the Twist Sport Conditioning centers just south of Portland. His ambition and passion are evident with every word that comes out of his mouth as well as the incredible training center he has put together. If you want some high intensity cardio or periodized weight training programs conducted in group or one on one sessions, look no farther. Josh and his crew are capable of leading you to enhanced athletic performance, period.
Rebecca Hurwood - http://www.allwayswell.com/ - Rebecca is my acupuncture specialist. Unfortunately my insurance does not cover her, so I don't see her as often as I'd like. She has helped me out quite a bit with a number of different injuries including IT band problems, knee pain, and plantar fascia pain. You also get the benefit of a relaxing nap and a foot massage when you see her and I highly recommend her!
Exceptional Organizations: Each of the organizations listed below stands out to me as exceptional for various reasons.
Trail Butter - http://trailbutter.com/ - Trail Butter is owned and operated by two brothers, Jeff and Brad. I know Jeff personally and he is a tremendous guy. The fuel they make comes in packets containing about 800 calories of slwo burning fuel perfect for endurance athletes. Try it, you will not regret it.
Go Beyond Racing - https://gobeyondracing.com/ - Go Beyond Racing is an organization operated by Renee, Trevor, and Todd. Many of you reading this know them well. They put together amazing races and really thrive on getting as many people together as they can, as often as they can to experience this fine sport and camaraderie associated with it. They put on races as nearby as Forest Park and as far out as Smith Rock State Park. I know for a fact (Todd, recall the Eagle Creek run) that they would give you the shirt off their backs.
Rainshadow Running - http://www.rainshadowrunning.com/ - Mentioned previously, James Varner runs this organization. I believe every one of their races is followed by live Bluegrass by The Pine Hearts as well as fantastic brick oven pizza and basically a huge party. His events are notoriously challenging, and they have a near cult following.
Animal Athletics - http://animalathleticspdx.com/ - Also mentioned previously, Willie and Yassine operate Animal Athletics. They love the outdoors, they love physical challenges, and they love empowering anybody who has the faintest interest in the outdoors to get out there and take advantage of it. They have boot camps, specialized trail running classes, and group adventures around the PNW.
Cat Adoption Team - http://catadoptionteam.org/ - CAT is a great organization that takes in cats from a variety of places in order to try and eliminate euthanasia. Everyone I have met who works there is very kind hearted and passionate about helping cats find loving homes. I volunteer here on Wednesday nights taking care of cats at one of their outreach centers, Clackamas PetSmart.
The Forest Park Conservancy - http://www.forestparkconservancy.org/ - This organization is responsible for the protection of Forest Park, an incredible natural resource boasting over 70 miles of dirt trials all within the city limits of Portland. It is a trail running wonderland and sees thousands of miles logged every year. It is also a great opportunity to teach people about the natural world without having to go very far at all. The Conservancy does a great job protecting and enhancing this resource for everyone to enjoy.
Outdoor Project - http://www.outdoorproject.com/ - This group is a start up. They have a great search page with a ton of great outdoor adventures. Excellent trip reports, and maps with actual mileposts! Also, excellent photos and a great blog featuring current environmental issues and other related content.