Two of my favorite people in the world are John Ryan (JR) and Bethany Seaman. They hold a special place in my heart because Bethany was our beloved, skilled, amazingly valuable nanny as I was first learning to be a mom. She was an angelic voice in our worship band at City Church and she and JR were the youth leaders. We all grew together in faith and as parents. I always felt like I was better person around the Seamans. JR was also involved with me through endeavors with my magazine, The One Bride Guide, and his cinematography and wedding photography studio, GranolaTech. When I heard he was doing Chasing 100, I wanted to be a part of it and thought if I couldn’t run by his side supporting him, I could at least support him with oils!
I’ll let JR tell you what his next adventure is about. We’ll be getting updates from JR along his journey so join me in praying for him and supporting him from wherever you are in the world.
Here’s JR’s story in his own words:
Chasing 100 is my own personal brain child. It has been building up in my mind for a few years. It started as a dream back when I first got into running half marathons. Bethany and I were newlyweds and didn’t have any money whatsoever. I thought it would be awesome to get local businesses to sponsor me so I could get enough money to pay for shoes and entry fees. Unfortunately, life got in the way and I never got a sponsor for my races back then. That being said, the dream never died.
Fast forward a couple years to July 2014 and I was itching to do something new. I wanted to do something that would challenge myself mentally, physically, and even prove myself as an artist and filmmaker. We were on our way to Colorado for a family trip and I spent the hours driving listening to Scott Jurek’s book, Eat & Run. His story about being an ultra runner and hard core vegan fired me up! I was jazzed! I couldn’t stop thinking about it! I wanted to run a 100 mile race too. I wanted to run the Leadville 100 on 2015. The only problem was, I hadn’t run more than a half marathon. In fact, the last half marathon I ran was in 2012! I wasn’t out of shape. I ate a health vegan diet and I had been running pretty constantly. Even though my running was consistent, I was only running at max 4 miles at a time. I would have to do that 25 times over in order to run a 100 mile race! Who was I kidding? I would never be in shape to run Leadville in August of 2015. Even though it was a year away, it just didn’t seem possible. But then, the impossible happened. I went out for a run during our trip in Colorado. I ran on the road for a mile and then decided to go straight up the trail on the slopes of Beaver Creek. I hadn’t run like this in years! I wasn’t going fast but I felt free and I loved it. At one point I looked up to take in the beautiful scenery and a deer darted right past me! For a short moment if felt like we were running together. To me it was a sign that I was doing the right thing. Before I knew it, I had run at altitude and up a mountain for 4 miles! I turned around and went home for a run just over 8 miles. It was the most I had run at once in 2 whole years!
I told my wife that I wanted to run Leadville in 2015. Amazingly, she loved the idea! I told her I knew it had to be a documentary. A whole year following me as I go from half marathon finisher to Leadville 100 contestant. Most people would think I was crazy but I didn’t care. I wanted to be an ultra marathoner, I just I hadn’t even run a marathon yet! It felt like putting the cart before the horse but it also felt right. From that trip on, I knew I was going to be an ultra runner. I was going to run and finish the Leadville 100 on a vegan diet with only one year of training.
So how is it going? We are about 7 months in and I’m running like crazy! A lot has happened since then, my Friday morning is filled with a 20+ mile run, I literally turned 28 in the middle of the night on a snowy, icy, muddy trail while pacing a close friend at The Bandera 100k, I ran a 50k (31 miles) and officially became an ultra runner, I was asked to be on the Spectrum Trail Racing Team, I’ve received a bunch of free gear, and got my first sponsor KeepItEssential.com! FIY, pacing is running with a friend during a long race so they don’t lose their mind, get lost or forget to eat and drink. So far, this has already been the best year of my life and it is only getting better!
John Ryan Seaman is an Austin based filmmaker, photographer, and business owner. He and his beautiful wife of 5 years have fostered 8 children under the age of 2 and been able to adopt one of those amazing kids. Together the three of them love running, watching movies, reading about health and wellness, and helping others learn to thrive spiritually, relationally, and physically. You can learn more about chasing 100 at www.chasing100.com or follow the project on Instagram and Facebook. Look for more updates from JR here on keepitessential.com