#FeatureFriday – Brad Dains


Meet Brad Dains, first-time #BoonevilleBackroadsBadass! We are excited to welcome Brad to the backroads! He will be taking on the 100 miler!

1) How long have you been running?

I’ve been running for a little over 10 years. I hit around 315lbs, and knew I needed to make a change in my life. I started running to lose some weight, and it has been one of the most amazing journeys.

2) Do you remember the moment your first felt “like a runner”?

I felt like a “real” runner the first time I bought some ACTUAL running shoes. 🙂 I felt “like a runner” for the first time when I ran for 30 minutes straight without stopping.

3) What is your favorite race distance? Why?

I don’t “race” a lot due to work and family schedule. If I had to pick a race distance that I really enjoy though, I would have to say the 50 mile. I’ve never done a 50 mile race, but in the races I’ve done that are longer than 50 miles, that is usually when I begin to want to stop. 🙂

4) What first intrigued you about ultra running?

I know this may sound strange to most people who know me, but the thing I love about running ultras is the fact that the crowd is very small. I don’t like big crowds at races. It is much easier at the beginning of the ultras to just have a conversation with people, and you’re not always jockeying for position, and the community is just amazing. I’ve learned over the years that the trail and ultra community tends to be more of a family.

5) How many marathons and/or ultras have you run?

I’ve actually only completed one marathon (Des Moines 2007). I ran in the 2007 Chicago Marathon, but due to record heat the race was cancelled 4 hours in and forced to cut through downtown Chicago to get back to the finish. I did, however, cross the finish line, and I have a finishers medal but no official time. I’ve completed two 40 mile trail ultras, one trail 100k, two 24 hour and one 12 hour Equalizer at Gray’s Lake. I had an epic blowup and DNF at the Zumbro 100 in 2014 and did 100 miles on a treadmill in 21:40 to raise money for the MS Run The US.

6) What has been your biggest running success to date?

It may sound cheesy, but that first step out the door when I was 315lbs was my biggest success. My next biggest would be raising over $14,000 for a friend’s son who was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer in 2013 and running 93 miles during the 2013 Equalizer in honor of him.

7) What keeps you motivated?

Showing people that they can accomplish SO MUCH more than they think they are capable of. I just want people, including my kids, to NEVER limit the potential they have and to constantly push the boundaries of what they think are possible. I think I have been given a gift from God to show people that they don’t have to be afraid of limits and that with a tremendous amount of hard work and faith, you can do ANYTHING.

8) What is your favorite food to eat while training and/or racing?

I really like to eat, but for some reason during races I have a finicky stomach. For much of the first half of races I will stick to Honey Stinger gels, chews and waffles while washing them down with Nuun Electrolyte drinks and water. Once I get to the point where I need some real food, I love salt & vinegar chips. Perfect balance of salty and bitter.

9) What is your favorite post race meal?

Chicken wings and an ice cold single or double IPA if the race ends in the evening. If the race ends in the morning, I really like a huge breakfast platter….and an IPA. 🙂

10) What is one piece of advice you would share with other runners?

Like I said in my answer to the what keeps me motivated. Never limit the potential you have to do great things. Don’t put a ceiling on what you think is possible.

11) When you aren’t running, how do you enjoy spending your time?

What is “free time”??? 🙂 I am married to one of the coolest chicks in the world and my high school sweetheart, I have the privilege of being called dad to 3 lovely little girls, I coach soccer for my 7 year old (Go Cheetahs!!!), I am the President of the Capital Striders Running Club, I am a race director, I work full-time for an insurance company in West Des Moines and work part-time at Fitness Sports. I love drinking and talking about craft beers. I also love Iowa State Athletics. Hhhhhhmmmmmm…I’m pretty busy. How in the heck do I train for things?? 🙂

12) Anything else you would like to share?

I really can’t wait to meet everyone at the race. I hope I get a chance to meet and talk to everyone. I am really excited to be a part of the Inaugural 100 mile race in Iowa!!!

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