Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Weekend I Met Bart Yasso

So, way back in the day (or about two years ago) I read a lil book called "My Life On The Run" by Bart Yasso. He tells amazing stories about his adventurous life- how he has traveled the world doing races, met tons of amazing people, and is now pretty much living the life. He didn't grow up running, either- he started in his twenties! Reading his book was the last push I needed at the time to start running. I told Brandon about how I wanted to travel the world to see all of these amazing places while running, too! After some encouragement from Brandon,  I went outside that day, ran one time around the block, and then almost died of shortness of breath. But I finally caught my breath, and haven't stopped running since.

So, yeah. I'm a huge fan of Bart. I look up to him a lot, and he continues to inspire me with his determination, hard work, and his passion for running (hello.... did you see the article about Comrades? The Amish?). In fact, when looking for a late winter race to keep us motivated during the cold months, my decision was made after I found out Bart would be attending the Little Rock Marathon. We signed up too late to be able to do the half, so we settled for the 10k.

I was so excited when we arrived at our hotel, I completely forgot to grab my copy of "My Life On The Run" when we headed to the expo. (Don't worry- we might get to meet him again at the San Francisco Expo this summer- I'll be sure to remember by book then)

Peabody Little Rock 
All I had was my race bib, so I asked him to sign it, take a picture with me, and be my best friend/lifetime running coach/cheerleader, then we chatted a bit about running. I could have stayed all afternoon talking to him and listening to all of his amazing stories and asking him tons of questions, but Brandon insisted that I play it cool.

Saturday night, we attended the pasta party just for fun- we had never been to one before, and we didn't have much else to do in the exciting city of Little Rock. Guess who sat behind me?

Yes, you better believe it! That is the back of Bart Yasso's head.

My parents- being the totally awesome, supportive parents that they are- decided to join us in LR for the weekend to cheer us on. We met up with them for a post-pasta-party dinner (the pasta party had great vegetarian options for me, but Brandon wasn't digging olive oil and noodles as a vegan option) and then decided to walk around the hotel to see where the Peabody ducks live at night.

We were heading up to our rooms for the night to get some good rest... and it just so happened that we got on the elevator with Bart!

No, I didn't get a picture of this fabulous moment. That would have been too weird, even for me. Brandon swears that I was powerfully speed-walking so that we "happened" to get on the elevator with him.


Brandon and I had both been sick with the crud and a terrible, hacking, cough. I hadn't run in a week and a half. I hadn't even "trained" for the race, really- I've been proud of myself for doing 3 miles when it's 30* outside.

We went out to have fun, but we were both feeling pretty good that day, so we tried to pick up the pace a few times, only to come very close to getting smacked in the face by some vigorously swinging power-walker-arms. Eventually, we made it past the incredibly annoying people who sprint really fast for 0.25 miles then take walking breaks right in front of people who are still running. Next time, I won't under-estimate myself quite so much and line up at the very very back of the starting line.

I couldn't be bothered to put down my banana for a picture.
But thankfully, I made it through without coughing or sneezing on anyone (except for Brandon) and totally grossing everyone out. Our time wasn't what I had hoped- 1:13:something, and I was hoping for under 1:10:00, but my GPS clocked the distance as 6.4mi from all the weaving instead of 6.2. It was a really nice course, beautiful weather, and tons of fun. We are planning on going back next year, for sure!

I was so excited to finally meet the man who inspired me to begin running in the first place. I'm so thankful to him, because I feel so much healthier and happier now that I'm a runner. I've not only found a way to enjoy exercise, but I've discovered a real passion for the sport overall. I love that Brandon and I have something that we enjoy doing together, also. I could go on for days about how much I love running. And Bart. He continues to inspire and amaze me everyday in the way that he reaches out to every runner that he can to offer support and encouragement. From the greatest ambassador for running-



  1. Hi! Found this post through twitter---Bart Yasso posted it! :-))))))) I'm in LR and did the half as well. I felt a little starstruck when I saw Mr. Yasso at the expo and didn't have the guts to greet him. So bravo for you! Your twitter link isn't working and I'd love to connect, so find me @KatieMcManners. :-)

    1. I know-- isn't it so cool how much he tweets to everyone? I think I fixed my twitter link, but I followed you, so you should be able to find me!

  2. Way to go, Allison (and Brandon)! Suggestion for you: if you liked meeting Bart, and you enjoy travelling, check out the Cruise to Run group. The next trip is in January 2013.

    1. Thanks! We will definitely check that out- going somewhere fun in January sounds amazing!

  3. Great race, great post, and yes...we are all awestruck with Bart. Very cool. Following your blog now.

  4. Congratulations! I have that same SR shirt! Love it!
    Good job and how cool to meet Bart!


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