The first in the Spotlight for 2019 is Jeff Rock. If you’ve been around MURCA for a while, then you know about Jeff. He has finished the Arrowhead 135 several times and is a member of the prestigious Order of the Hrimthurs. Please enjoy Jeff’s story, in his own words, below.
“I grew up in a broken home in a little Northern Minnesota town.(where I live today) I’m still a little broken myself as a result. So of course being from northern Minnesota that means I played hockey and was skating as soon as I could walk.(literally) I’ve got pictures of me skating outside at 1 year old. I have an older brother and younger sister so as the middle child I was of course the cream of our little crop. Actually my Brother, being 3 years older was always much bigger, stronger, and faster than me.(he was also a Tuefel Hunden if Amtrakers count). He was the best natural athlete of the family, but damned if I wasn’t the hardest worker. We all played 3 sports. I Captained the High School football team and may still hold the record for being the slowest running back to ever be named all conference.(5.0 – 40😂)
As the 1st Gulf War kicked off I signed up over a drunken argument with friends about getting drafted and A buddy saying he’s move to Canada if he does. The very next day the recruiter saw me coming from a mile away. He showed me a pamphlet of FAST company with all the rappelling, CQB, and high speed low drag type stuff. I said that was what I wanted to do. He then proceeded to sign me up as a 0311. Little did that fucker know, I actually made it to FAST Company, and got to do all that cool shit. While attached to FAST we had 2 major deployments to Cuba to escort Haitians back to Haiti. With less than a year left as my platoon geared up for our rotation to Somalia we got a new Company Commander and he shipped out everyone that had been there over 2 1/2 yrs. All that training down the fucking drain. little surprise I was pissed as they sent me to Pendleton undeployable with less than a year left. I landed at the School of Infantry and was an instructor for 52 area guard my final year.
Growing up I ran for track, football, and hockey. I would could beat most of the hockey team in our annual 5 miler, but if you put me against a good cross country runner or any sprinter I would get smoked! Fastest 3 miler was for our PFT’s. I was just seconds under 18 every time. Goals for this year are to finish at Arrowhead 135, a finish and top 5 at the Iditarod 350, and a sub 30hr Superior 100(that would be a hour and a 1/2 PR) notable races thus far are Tuscobia 160, Arrowhead 135, and Actif Epica 162k all in 2017 which got me into the Order of the Hrimthurs.(google it) 400 miles of racing in less than 6 weeks. Somehow I took 2nd place in 2 of the 3 races. My bucket list race is the Iditarod Trail Invitational 1000. Gonna need to win the lottery to get there tho, but ya got to dream big.
Three Nuggets of wisdom:
1) Don’t take this running shit too seriously. It’s supposed to be fun.
2) Just because a race offers drop bags at every aid station don’t be a douche and have 10 drop bags in a 100. 2 is more than enough. Probably don’t need any if you have a crew.
3) With a little hard work, grit, and determination you can do almost anything. That being said your mind will always give out before your body does. The biggest obstacle we face is believing it can be done.”