Monday, December 13, 2010


Over the past six months I have been preparing to transition to a new job in a new place. After five years in Sun Valley my family and I have decided to move on after the Community School graduation in June. For those of you who know me, of course, this will come as no surprise as since I graduated from college 21 years ago I have lived in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Oakland and Sun Valley. I am thrilled that our new opportunity will take us to Charlottesville, VA where I have been appointed Head of School at Tandem Friends School. It is a wonderful opportunity in a very special place and, in many ways, represents a homecoming of sorts for my wife and I as we began our educational careers at Penn Charter, the oldest Quaker school in the country.

What does this mean for my running?

Well, Charlottesville has a wonderfully vibrant running community. Two specialty running shops, Ragged Mountain Running and the Charlottesville Running Company, fuel the running scene and the surrounding countryside is filled with beautiful places to run (and, they don't have seven months of winter there:) Furthermore, there are a bunch of fast runners who reside in and around C'Ville and the UVa Cross-Country team is pretty darn good!

As far as racing, I plan to continue my long-distance love affair with Western States as long as they'll keep letting me come to the race and readers of this blog should be reminded that one of the former Course Record holders at Western States is a Virginian, none other than Mike Morton. His 2:09 split from Foresthill to the River is still one of the all-time great splits. I will also continue to find my way west in the summer to toil in the San Juans, the Rockies, the Sierras and the Cascades. But, I will also be able to enjoy some new places and some special races like Masanutten, Mountain Masochist, JFK, Bull Run and many others. It will be a fun and exciting change.

So, anybody out there with running tips about the area or if you're from there and you'd like to hook up please let me know. depending on how the lottery Gods treat me in February we'll be rolling into C'Ville around the first of July unless Hardrock beckons and then it'll be around the 15th.

I hope you're all enjoying your training. Just a little more than six months to go:)


Larry Linux said...


Let me be the first to say the Appalachians await you! Although I am far from an Ultra-Runner, I am a trail runner who lives and loves outdoor life in the Carolinas. As you already know, our mountains may not be as tall as those West Coast monsters, but they are beyond beautiful.

Welcome home brother!


PS - Speaking of east coast trail stars - don't forget, Matt Carpenter was born in Asheville.

Craig Thornley said...

Congrats on the new job, Jiz. I have to correct you on the Morton Cal St split. He ran 2:18.

Unknown said...

Get ahold of me when you move to town and I will show you my favorite routes and introduce you to the trail running group here in town.

Speedgoat Karl said...

Now you can hit a real trail. They call it the AT. Make a trip up to Maine and check it out. A spanking awaits you there. :-)

Grae Van Hooser said...

I can believe Morton's split. I was @ Foresthill the year he broke the record and the dude was flying. He looked to come in at what seemed like 7 minute pace, literally coming to a dead stop. Stepped on the scale, then sprinted off while someone handed him water bottles, without breaking stride. He looked like he was in the middle of a 10k. He didn't even look tired. I've never seen anyone go through there that fast even to this day. He makes even Anton's aid station stops slow in comparison. Amazing!

Sophie Speidel said...

Sending you your "Welcome to Charlottesville" packet in the mail---look for it :-)

Saw Horton at Hellgate and we both had a good laugh at how your moving to our little neck of the woods will shake things up a bit!

Next year's Hellgate is on a full moon, btw.

Brett said...

I watched Mike Morton run 153 miles in 24 hours at the Hinson Lake 24 hour this September. He came through the first 100 in right nearly 13 hours. And the heat index was over 90F for about 12 hours. I will never forget watching him that day. It looked like he was running a 5k.

jennifer Nichols said...

yay!! virginia welcomes you with open arms!! VERY COOL!!!

hope to see you at some races or group runs soon! Sophie puts on some GREAT group runs in SNP that are just awesome!

Jeremy Ramsey said...

Welcome to the area. I would love to log some miles with you in the Blue Ridge.


Unknown said...

I am surprised Thornley hasn't made this suggestion yet:


Craig Thornley said...

@Mike, Barkley is an interesting idea. Perhaps after our ten-year WS bet and my wife forgets how much I paid out.

Unknown said...

Welcome to Virginia!

There are so many great places to run, and in Cville you're in a really centralized just a short drive away from some great spots in the "mountains". Be sure to check out Happy Trails ( as well.

Jon Allen said...

I just drove thru Charlottesville this week- you're gonna love the mtns.

Anonymous said...

Run with the Tandem XC Team/Running Club. On that note, when are you coming back to visit? You should bring your sneakers and come for a run with us.