John Goldfield Raleigh NC - PATH projects KREW
Hey there! I'm originally from Coastal Northern California transplanted to North Carolina since 2000. I found my way back to running in 2014 and after struggling with road running discovered the soul-lifting aspect of the trails. I ran my first 50k in 2017 thinking it was beyond my capability... and I haven't looked back since. I ran my first 100 at Umstead in 2019 and in the training process discovered the amazing trail running community in and around Raleigh. Since then I've been heavily involved in local run clubs and with a favorite running store, helping with social events, raising funds and general shenanigans. I attended several Tanawha Adventures trail camps, connecting with new friends around the US and the world. I started a blog chronicling my running adventures and race reports as well as some general observations relevant to the times.
I'm no spring chicken (54 yrs young), and I am a reliably solid middle-of-the-pack finisher, but I nearly always have a grin on my face and I am "finding the awesome" in every part of the process from training to toeing the line of a race.
In my "free time" I'm a front-line Physician Assistant in a local Emergency Department. The 2020 pandemic has been immensely challenging as one would expect, but trail running has consistently brought me solace and joy throughout the past 7 months. I also have two teenage girls who put up with me and try to teach me TicToc dances, a dog named Buddy, too many harmonicas, a ukulele and a banjo (I CAN play the harmonicas... the other two are still not ready for prime-time)
My goal is to keep enjoying trail running for another 20 years or so... at which time I plan to gracefully transition to "wise old ex-trail runner guy" and probably spend my retirement volunteering at aid stations and making sure middle/back-of-the-pack runners keep moving forward.
Running accomplishment(s) you are proud of
I'm extremely proud to have completed my first 100-mile race, Umstead 100 miler in 2019. I hit a very tough and dark spot at around 80ish miles. The digging deep and pushing forward was something I'll never forget (and will likely have to draw upon again).
Any races or adventures on your horizon and / or bucket list?
At the time of this writing I'm only 9 days out from Pinhoti 100 in Alabama. I Covid-deferred Zion 100 to April 2021. I'll put my 2 tickets into the lottery for the 2022 Western States (along with "a few" others) and I'm currently on the wait-list for Barkley Fall Classic in 2021.Other dreams include Grand Canyon R2R2R, Trans Rockies Stage Race, The Rut, Georgia Death Race, Tahoe Rim Trail and a Last Person Standing type event (amongst many, many other plans and dreams).
Your favorite PATH projects gear?
I started wearing the Sykes PX with the Tahoe liner 2 years ago. Wore one pair all the way through Umstead 100 with ZERO chafing. My new favorite combo this past humid summer has been the Sykes AT (or Wildcat AT too) with the Torch liners! SO lightweight and quick drying! Recently I picked up the Pyrenees hoody, and though it hasn't been cool enough yet to run in it, I love the features and softness. Finally... I bought the Trucker Hat just to sport a logo and be a "team guy"... little did I know it would be my absolute new favorite hat! Comfy, fits well, breathable, quick drying, looks sharp!
What do you enjoy about running?
I do get excited about a new trail or going somewhere that's "interesting", but some days I just need to put in the time on my feet and run from the front door. Whatever motivation gets me to take those first steps is replaced by the wonderful feeling I get from powering through space under the power of my legs. It may be creaky and slow, but it always gets my heartrate up and clears my head. I am reminded over and over, that even a crappy run makes me feel better for having done it than no run at all. The other thing I discovered late in my adulthood (and one of the main reasons I started running longer) is that this is MY time. It may be the ONLY thing I get to do strictly for myself in any given day or week! It's a self-caring activity that my psyche (which is generally apt to put others' needs before my own) will allow, and as a result makes me happier and more grounded.
Advice for runners looking to improve?
Just keep getting out there. I'm no elite, so I see "improving" as having the ability to take on new challenges and to be able to do so without burn-out or injury. So for me, improving means staying consistent, even when the cards are stacked against free time, and the weather sucks, and yesterday's run sucked... THAT's when to get out there!
Social channels you are most active on?
Anything else you’d like to share?
I'm really excited to a part of the PATH projects Krew. I really do believe in the products, and I really DON'T like chafing, haha! There are some incredible and extremely accomplished folks in this group and I'm humbled to have been chosen to be a part of it. I see myself as that "everyman" 50-something middle-of-the-pack guy, a demographic that makes up a huge part of the trail running world. I'm having a blast and enjoying every minute of it! I can't wait to keep on Finding Awesome with the PATH projects community.
None with my PATH gear featured, but some are in the works!
Read John's recent essay The Road Ahead on iRunFar.
Any running videos?
Learn about all other KREW members HERE.