Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Interview: David Salvas

Name: David Salvas
Age: 62
Town: Amherst
Years Running: 33

A few days ago I received an e-mail from a man named David Salvas. This e-mail was to inform me that I could "add another name to the list of those who've run across New Hampshire." I wasn't shocked but I was certainly surprised to receive a e-mail on this subject.. what shocked me was the distance he did. So.. welcome David Salvas to Human Potential as we interview him in regards to his Run Across NH adventure.

SJ: David, thanks for taking the time to talk to me about your adventure.
DS: Now that I am retired, I have plenty of time for anything running related

SJ: So when did you run across New Hampshire and tell us which direction you travelled?
DS: I traveled the length of New Hampshire from North to South on June 23rd through the 30th.

SJ: How many miles was that and how long did it take you exactly?
DS: According to my Garmin, it was 221.87 miles. It took me 8 days.

SJ: When did you decide to do this adventure?
DS: I made a mental note years ago, I would like to try this, when my friend Mike Beeman did it, twice. As I neared retirement age, I was trying to think about how should I celebrate my retirement! Then that mental note I made years ago came back to me. I did a marathon a month for a year to celebrate my 60th birthday, so I had to top that!

SJ: Now you ran it a part of a fundraiser.. what agency did you run on behalf of and how can folks donate?
DS: I ran for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I tell people while the run is over, the fundraising continues. I set both my running and fundraising goals high. I accomplished the running goal, but fell short on the fundraising. They can donate either via my web page or send checks (payable to Leukemia & Lymphoma society) to David Salvas, PO Box 492, Amherst, NH.

SJ: Why did you choose this organization to run for?
DS: I chose this event for two reasons. One, I was a run coach for the Team In Training program and taught folks to run either a half or full marathon for Leukemia & Lymphoma. Two, the daughter of a very good friend of mine lost her battle with blood cancer, and two of my co-workers daughters had Leukemia (now both in remission).

SJ: How much have you raised so far?
DS: I have raised just short of $9,000, my goal was $25,000.

SJ: Now.. you're also connected to Mike Beeman and Kurt Stuke, who are two of the other folks who have Run Across NH. Tell us how you know them, help us complete the circle.
DS: I have known Mike for many years as we used to race against each other when I first started out as a runner. He also went to school with me wife and her brothers and sisters. I met Kurt, when he showed up one morning and joined Team In Training (TNT) and I trained him to run a marathon.

SJ: How much did Mike Beeman influence your decision to complete the run?
DS: I contacted Mike to see what was the biggest problem of running the length of the state. How did he handle the miles and how did he train. Never did he once say the running was worst part of it. He talked about the support and the food and the route, but not the running being tough. He told me to break it up into three runs per day. Run 1/3 of the daily distance required, rest for an hour and re hydrate and get food then do the next 1/3 and repeat.

SJ: What was the hardest part of the run for you?
DS: The hardest part of the run was the first day! The first day it was raining extremely hard, and there were some of the toughest hills in Northern New Hampshie along the route I had chosen. Another day it was 91 degrees, but the hills and rain were the worst.

SJ: What happened that you didn't expect.. both good and bad?
DS: The good part was I met a group of friends in Colebrook, NH, as I finished the first day. They were doing a Bike ride fundraiser for MS. The bad part was, when I finished we were having a little party at the finish line in the Peasant Lane Mall parking lot and asked to leave. As I explained what was just accomplished, ho told us his boss said he didn't care we had to leave.

SJ: Would you do it again?
DS: I would do it again! I would make some minor changes, but all in all it was very rewarding and exciting.

SJ: What time of day did you typically run.. seeing as you slept every night?
DS: I started every day at 7 AM and would run about 9 miles, rest for an hour or two and run 9 more miles and repeat.

SJ: Did anyone join you on the run or did you do it completely solo?
DS: I had a few runners run with me. I had a friend from town, run the first day (35 miles of rain) with me. I had a friend drive up from New York City to do a hilly section. Two young ladies I trained to run a marathon, met me one day and ran with me for 30 miles. On the last leg I had three folks from my running club finish with me.

SJ: Did you have a crew who assisted you by providing support?
DS: My wife was my support for the first 5 days, and then the father of the young lady I was running in memory of, did the last three days. I had a guy who I never met before support me as I ran on the bike trail through Fanconia Notch area.

SJ: I think I read that you planned on passing in your retirement papers at the finish.. how did that go?
DS: I was actually given the opportunity to retire just before the Boston Marathon in April, and I took it so I had more time to train for this event.

SJ: Three pieces of advice you'd give anyone who was thinking of taking on a cross state run..
DS: Take breaks, drink even if not thirsty, enjoy the event.

SJ: Alright David... thanks a bunch for taking the time to talk to us. What you've accomplished is both humbling yet inspiring. We congratulate you in becoming only the second person to have ever run across NH from North to South and indeed the oldest. An inspiration to folks of all ages and abilities. We do wish you well on your continued fundraising efforts.
DS: I did enjoy your articles of your runs across NH. I think those in addition to Mike Beeman convinced me that this was possible. Thank you for your support.