Gnarly Bandit: Introducing competitor John Taylor…

Gnarly Competitor - John Taylor23 runners toed the line to begin the 2013 UMTR Gnarly Bandit Series. This grueling five race series kicked off back in April at the Zumbro 100 Mile, ran through the Kettle Moraine, Black Hills and Superior 100 Milers, and will wrap up October 19 with the Wild Duluth 100K. With one race left to run, eight runners remain in contention for the $600 cash prize courtesy of Wilderness Athlete. We’ll be looking to talk with all of the finalists.

Next up, John Taylor:

1. When you started out at the Zumbro 100-mile back in April did you feel confident you would still be in the running for the award at this point?

I did think that I would still be in the running – but I also realize that anything can happen in a 100 mile race. Before the first race of the series, I already had two DNF’s in 2013. That’s one of the more interesting aspects of 100 miles races for me – the unknown. What’s going to happen this time? 100 miles is a long ways for everything to go just right.

2. What races in the series stand out as memorable (good and bad)?

Every race has it ups and downs over the course of the event. Every race has its more memorable, and not so memorable sides to them. It’s not all good – but then knowing there’s going to be some harder or difficult parts – make it all that more interesting. It’s interesting to see how I’ll hold up to it, but also interesting to see how others respond to it as well. I had a much better time this year at Black Hills. I have no idea as to why – I just enjoyed the course more. It’s a beautiful course. Superior Sawooth was especially hard for me. I just had too many issues that slowed me down – it was an interesting experience to be traveling at the back of pack. Dealing with the additional stress of fighting cut-offs was new to me.

3. Which race would you say “went according to plan” more so than the others?

Wild Duluth? That one is going as planned (so far at least). I got my entry – and I am all set! None of the Gnarly races have gone according to plan.

4. How was your recovery between the races?

My recovery has not been as good as in other years. I enjoy running, and haven’t allowed enough time between some of the races to fully recover and do my best. It gets to be a volume versus quality thing.

5. What’s on your calendar after Wild Duluth?

Right now – I am thinking about Rio Del Lago, and Tuscobia.

6. Any advice for runners looking to attempt the series next year?

Enjoy it. Plan it out as best you can, but realize you don’t have control over everything.

7. Any additional thoughts?

It’s a great race series. Having the larger group with so much talent has added a lot to the series. It’s nice to see so much success in larger group.

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