Steve takes 2nd Place in His AG at Mt Baldy.

Steve displays his silver medal in AG in the Ski Lodge after the Run To the Top of Mt Baldy

My only fear is that a run like yesterday’s run comes only once in a lifetime. Then deep inside I know that there will be others, just the bar is set so high now.

I talk about it all the time, the experience of being in the flow, letting go, becoming one with moment and I experienced it in a new way yesterday. My run was a meditation, which aligned my mind, body and spirit and the results were more than a new PR, a new found freedom. I have to thank Coach Ilg and Wholistic Fitness® for showing me the path to get here.

Run-To-The-Top of Mt Baldy is circled on my calendar every year as long as I live in Southern California. It is a test and a beautiful way to spend a Monday morning. This was an “A” race for me. I knew what it takes but I didn’t know if I was up to the test. I thought I may had over trained last week leading up to the race. How hard would I go? I went medium hard, saving something for the last mile. I kept everything in check. I was breathing easier than most of the other runners. I was relaxed and (in)joying my run. I was passing people and I was keeping it quick and lite.

The last section of this race is straight uphill and I have been passed every year so far. Once I hit that section I made a decision, go hard and don’t be passed. Most of it was too steep to run. I walked almost the entire last section yet no one passed me. I saw the finish banner and started running again. I crossed the line in 1:22:08. I also knew that a 1:22:08 was probably good enough for a podium spot in my Age Group (AG). I hung out and waited for my friends to make it up to the 10,000+ ft mark. They all finished strong. I wanted to be at the lodge for the awards, just in case. I grabbed a trash bag and started the 4-mile hike back to the lodge.

The results came in and I took 2nd in my AG and 17th overall. I also took 10 minutes off last year’s PR. I was hoping to beat it just a couple of minutes, not over a minute a mile. It is hard to describe my feelings yesterday. For the first time in a long time I really surprised myself. And, I owe this victory to the ChiRunning® method. Since becoming a certified ChiRunning® instructor I have PR’d in every race I have raced in. I have been on the podium twice this year and my body feels better than ever. ChiRunning® works. I beat much faster runners because they don’t know the ChiRunning® hill techniques. I ran with my metronome set at 89 BPM. I focused on my posture and efficiency, knowing that I needed a great first 4 miles and a great last mile. I was thankful every step of the way. I listened, visualized, sang, prayed and focused, I tripped three times on the way up but you don’t fall that far when the road is that steep. How about a ChiRunning® lesson now?

Thank all of you for wishing me well before this race. I carried those thoughts with me and they helped power me. I look forward to being back out on the road with you. See you soon and RACE FOCUSED. Steve Mackel

Beach Runners’ Doug, Mina, Gary, Anja and Dion celebrate on the summit (L-R)


One Response to “Steve takes 2nd Place in His AG at Mt Baldy.”

  1. Cindy Levine on August 26th, 2013

    Steve, such an inspiring article! Thanks for sharing. I’ll try to apply all you talked about on Run to the Top this coming race. I’ll be happy if I finish in two hours this is not an easy race.