The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-364 – Steve Spear – Across the USA

 (Audio: link) [audio:]
Link epi4364.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening my friends.  Are you out on that early morning trail?  Or maybe the warm sunshine of a lunch-time trot?  Perhaps the star filled purity of a speedwork session at the track at night? 

Wherever, whenever, you may be, Hello my friends and welcome to Episode 4-364 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  Today we chat with Steve Spear, not Steve Speirs of the 100 pushups app who we interviewed in episode 108 of the podcast, must’ve been the winter of 2008-2009.   BTW all those old episodes are on my website at 

I’m going to go listen to some of them myself and see if there isn’t something interesting that I can curate for the members feed.  It’s bit surreal listening to yourself from the past.  Time truly is a river.

Today we are also going to squeeze in the 2017 Boston Marathon race report.  I think.  It’s not the most exciting story ever told but it has become a tradition now.  I think this will be the 9th Boston report that we have shared together.  We started with my 10th Boston back in 2008. 

What a long strange trip it’s been.

Anyhow – since the race report is long – I’ll just jump right into our interview with Steve Spear who ran across the USA to help get clean water to families in Africa.  You’ll hear me asking about how he did this because unlike Pete Kostelnik Steve ran the cross country route at a reasonable pace of 5 days a week and 35 miles a day.  I could see myself doing that. 

I’ll stick the race report in after that and we’ll call it a day.  My Friday’s have become increasingly pressed for time but I’ll persevere!

I took Tuesday, Wednesday off last week after the race.  I dug my old steel Fuji out, sprayed some petrochemicals on the chain and gears, pumped up the tires and went for a ride Thursday out to the rail trail.  That felt nice. 

I went for a run in the woods in the drizzle and dark with Teresa on Friday for an hour and felt fine.  It was nice to run with her.  Kinda cool getting to talk in a relatively neutral setting.

Saturday I met up with the running club to pick up litter on the Groton Road Race course.  Sunday I got to join the club run in the morning and it was good to not have to worry about a long workout.  The marathon gave me a lot of stress this year and I’m happy to have it in my rearview mirror. 

Tuesday morning I got up and went for a run in the woods.  It was grey and overcast and easing into a patient drizzle.  I brought Buddy, the old Wonder dog for the first 20- minutes or so then went back out and did another hour. 

There is something so peaceful and centering for me to run this loop.  Right outside my front door. Right on the other side of my vegetable garden is the trail head. 

Buddy and I cut these trails.  There was nothing here except bulldozer roads and animal tracks when we moved in.  It was slated to be house lots.  Over the years it became conservation land instead.  Now, my house is the last on the cul-de-sac with conservation land on three sides. 

The woods have not yet exploded in green.  We are in the April showers phase.  But, you can sense the arboreal tension in the woods.  Like a pensive skeleton waiting, on edge for the new leaves to burst forth. 

Hen turkeys, with beautiful sheens of reflecting feathers dart across the trail looking for the perfect place to raise this year’s brood.  Wood ducks bob on the gun-metal grey undulations of the pond.  All are ready.  We see the grey skeleton of winter.  They sense the green wealth of spring. 

Met the club on Saturday to pick up trash on the Groton Road Race course.  We spent a few hours and got 2 full truckloads of litter off the roads.  I suppose the most interesting thing I found was a plastic sandwich baggie with “Black Plague” and skull and crossbones written on it with a sharpie. 

What do you think?  Some parent with a nerdy kid and questionable sense of humor making lunch?  Or more probably an empty bag of a high-powered weed?  Or, you never know, I’m now patient zero of the zombie apocalypse like I always assumed I’d be.

Mostly it was Bud Light cans.  And flavored vodka nips.  The engineer in me wants to plot the beer can and vodka bottle distribution, do a regression analysis and lead an intervention to someone’s door in Groton.  Or just wait at the liquor store with an officer and some handcuffs. 

I guess if you are drinking on the way to work every day littering is pretty low on your list of worries. 

But, like spring, the road is clean and ready for the racers.  We’re going to have a great day.  I’m no longer Race Director so I think I may actually run the 10K!

That’s the way life is.  Life is change.  Life is winter.  Life is spring.  As Oprah says, we aren’t getting older, we’re evolving!

On with the show!

I’ll remind you that the RunRunLive podcast is ad free and listener supported.  What does that mean? It means you don’t have to listen to yet another Blue Apron or Hello Fresh ad.  As a matter of fact, stop being lazy and go shop for your own food.  We do have a membership option where you can become a member and as a special thank you, you will get access to member’s only audio.

I’ll also remind you that I have started raising money for team Hoyt for my 2017 Boston Marathon.  I would appreciate any help you can give.   The fundraiser is on Crowdrise (so I don’t have to touch any of the money) it goes straight to the Hoyts and supports acquiring equipment and supporting others who want to participate like the Hoyts do.

The RunRunLive podcast is Ad Free and listener supported.  We do this by offering a membership option where members get Access to Exclusive Members Only audio and articles.

Yes, we are still working on setting up the separate podcast feed for the member’s content.  Most recently I recorded and uploaded the first chapter of the zombie novel I’ve been writing for 30 years. 

    • Member only race reports, essays and other bits just for you!
  • Exclusive Access to Individual Audio Segments from all Shows
    • Intro’s, Outro’s, Section One running tips, Section Two life hacks and Featured Interviews – all available as stand-alone MP3’s you can download and listen to at any time.

Links are in the show notes and at

Become a member

Section one –


Voices of reason – the conversation

Steve Spear

About Steve Spear

In 2013 Steve Spear, Pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, ran from LA to NY to bring clean water to children and families in Africa. Steve roughly averaged a marathon a day for 150 days straight. His run took him through 10 pair of running shoes and 14 states. 

Steve Spear is an honors graduate of Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO. He led at senior levels at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL for over 15 years in a variety of pioneering efforts. As a Team World Vision Volunteer Running Ambassador Steve has completed numerous marathons, ultra marathons, a 2013 transcontinental run from LA to NY and personally raised over $500,000 for clean water in Africa. Steve and his wife Frances, of 28 years, have two grown children and reside in Carol Stream, IL. 

About the Global 6k for Water

Steve Spear, Running Ambassador at World Vision is encouraging runners and churches around the U.S. to take part in the Global 6k for Water. 6 kilometers is the average distance that people in the developing world walk for water — water that is often contaminated with life-threatening diseases. From fast runners to leisurely walkers, thousands of people will unite around the globe and run 6km to bring clean water to communities in need. Each participant's registration of $50 goes to World Vision's Water Initiatives. After you register you will receive a World Vision Global 6K for Water t-shirt, race bib, and medal in the mail. Map out a 6km route in your neighborhood or attend a bigger gathering at a host site on Saturday, May 6th, 2017. More information is available at:

Section two

Boston Race Report -


Ok my friends, you have run slowly across the country and through the hills of Newton to the end of episode 4-364 of the RunRunLive Podcast.

I’m running the Groton Road Race this weekend and the, just like that, it will be May already!  I’ve got to peel off some time to get my vegetable garden started! 

I’ve been trying to get my old motorcycle on the road.  I got it registered but ran into a bit of a snag last night.  I put a new battery in an n no power! Now I’m going to have to chase around the wiring diagram with my multimeter and see if it’s a fuse or a short or a ground… sigh… I’m not really designed with the patience for that. 

I went and gave blood this week.  They’ve been pestering me but I needed to get through the marathon first.  My vital signs are all fantastic.  I had to do the mind control thing to jack my HR up over 50 for the nurse so I could avoid the red flags.  It took a awhile but they were able to get my blood out of me. 

They have this sound track of 70’s pop music that they play and it is a bit surreal.  I hear those songs and I remember specific situations, where I was.  For example building a fort in the rafters of my father’s garage with my buddy Dave as pre-teens listening to “Ricky don’t lose that number” by Steely Dan on the portable FM radio on a warm summer day in 1974.  Us with our Mad Magazines and Farah Faucett posters. 

Now I’ve got to figure out what I want to do with this glorious summer laying before me like an unwrapped gift.  So far all I’ve committed is to climb some mountains with Teresa.  But, soon enough I’ll get the itch.  I do love trail running.  I think I’ll do some more of that. 

What’s next? 

I don’t know.  I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with my life forever.  There’s no silver bullets.  Sometimes you have the opportunity to choose epic and worthy things that in some way define you and in other ways demonstrate a worthy path to endeavors to the world.  Sometimes circumstances knock you sideways and that unchosen path becomes the worthy thing. 

Every day, every mile, you get up.  Whether your plan for that day works or something else happens you grind on with as much aplomb and reason as you can.  Then you get up and do it again.  Someday the crumbs of your life might lead someone else to something worthy for them. 

And that’s it, my friends.  Whether you think you are a leader or even an exemplar, people are watching you, the universe is watching you, get up and get it done today.

And I’ll see you out there.

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4364.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 6:31pm EDT





June 2022
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30