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If you are a runner (or multi-sport athlete) and like exercise gear, you definitely know about DC Rainmaker and his incredibly, in-depth reviews on all things with sports technology. His GPS reviews have steered me away from some models I was going to by and to other models that I had not before considered. I consider his blog to be the most definitive when it comes to gear reviews (certainly much better than reviews done by print publications in the running field).
Not only does he do great reviews but he is an excellent athlete. His reviews and write-ups of his races are told (and shown with great pics) in a very informative and entertaining way that makes the reader want to do the race next time. In addition, he is a mega frequent flyer, flying 150,000 – 300,000 miles a year. That type of flying, traveling, and competing puts him in a class all by himself and definitely in the interest avenue of Running with Miles readers. So, I was very thrilled when he agreed to do an interview with me.
This is a previous post that I thought many of my new readers would enjoy. I am out of town with very limited internet and will continue regular posts next week.
Interview with DC Rainmaker
- When did you start running? I originally ran back in high school, precisely one year of cross-country. Following that, I decided that was miserable, and didn’t run again for another 10 years. Then about 6 years ago I started running again when a friend decided to sign-up for a marathon. I’ve been hooked since then!
- How many races have you run? Way too many to count! Usually about one race a 4-6 races a year, spread somewhat evenly between triathlons and pure running races (mostly road races).
- What is your favorite race distance? I really like the half-marathon. Someone once said that “It’s a very gentlemanly distance”, in that you could run it, and still walk that afternoon. Whereas with a marathon, that ends up being far less likely. The shorter distance races are fun, but I tend to do better in the middle-distance running races. For triathlons however, I really enjoy the sprints (750m swim, 20K bike, 5K run).
- What is your favorite race? Probably the Boston Marathon. Something unreal about the course, the atmosphere and the people that come out to watch. As well as just the sheer speed of runners around you. I remember thinking over the first mile of the course that everyone around me was running smoothly along at a 6:30/mile pace. Just crazy.
- How many countries have you raced in? I think for races, only 6 countries. I’ve run in probably 40-50 countries, but only really raced in a handful of them. It’s possible I’m forgetting one or two though.
- Which countries? US, Canada, Singapore, France, UK, Bahrain
- How many states have you raced in? Wow, that’s probably also a sizable. I’d guess 10-15 at least. I tend to like to travel, and like to mix in races where I can.
- What is the most interesting place you have ever run? That’s tough, I’ve been lucky through work and personal travel to go and run and so many incredible locales. Each one’s different and special for different reasons. I think an early morning run in the suburbs of India sticks out quite a bit. I was there for work and some co-workers took me out for about a 10-miler. It was instantly farms and dirt paths. We were running through a bit of early morning sunrise fog when a temple of sorts became visible in the valley across. We eventually reached it, but just seeing it across the distance was really cool.
- Do you ever use miles to reach race destinations? Absolutely, quite often! Usually though I tend to do so when the airfares are more expensive than normal. If it’s a cheap ticket, I’ll save the points for a vacation later.
- If so, how you get those miles? I accumulate miles through credit cards, various promotions I see, and then lots of actual flying. For work I tend to fly about 150,000-300,000 miles per year. So that adds up quite quickly. Lately more quickly than not.
- If you have used miles, what was your best award redemption? Frequently flyer folks always talk about award redemption in terms of ‘value’, so the cost of a ticket versus the points used. So from an award standpoint anything that tends to be longhaul international is usually my better redemptions.
- What was the event/race/moment that you treasure the most? I think qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I ran a 2:54 at the Philly Marathon, and I was pretty happy with that. In a little over two years I had cut down my marathon time from my first marathon at 4:20’s to 2:54. Most of that simply due to getting a coach and really focusing on specifify and quality of the workout.
- When did you start your blog? I started it in 2007, the day I signed up for my first Ironman race, Ironman Canada. Since then, it’s been one adventure after another!
- What motivated you to start it? It was mostly just a simple chronicle of my athletic attempts and journey to my first Ironman, with a bunch of random life stuff along the way. Over time it’s morphed into a bit more than that, now being a bit of a reference point for sports technology.
- What do you enjoy most about writing your blog? Sharing what I find or see. Be it bits of travel, interesting things while swimming, cycling or running – or how exactly a specific sports technology device works. It’s fun to be curious and then share that curiosity.
Thanks, Ray, for taking the time and good luck with everything you have going on! For those readers who have not checked out his blog before, please head over there and start following along as he does a fantastic job and really makes for interesting reads.