SGPT Interviews Yeti Snakebite 50k Finisher Laurence McCullough

SGPT Interviews Yeti Snakebite 50k Finisher Laurence McCullough

SGPT Interviews Yeti Snakebite 50k Finisher Laurence McCullough

SGPT: Tell us about yourself.

LM: I’m am 45. Been married for 14 years and have 3 sons 17,12,10. Born and raised in Atlanta Georgia. I run a roofing and restoration business and currently volunteer with the Boy Scouts for my 10 yr old as I love sharing the great outdoors with others and working with kids.

SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?

LM: Yes. I was hyperactive so I enjoyed playing most sports when I was young (tennis, swimming, wrestling, soccer). After high school where I mainly trained year round for wrestling I went to college in Oregon and got to pursue outdoor sports like rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing and mountaineering. I have been strength training since I was 15 and continue that to this day thanks to the SGPT community and working with Coach Brad.

SGPT: How did you get interested in trail running?

LM: For several years in my 20’s I participated in traditional triathlons and then I transitioned to xterra off road triathlons (open water swimming, mountain biking and trail running). I really started to enjoy trail running in my mid 20’s.

SGPT: How did you find this local race? Tell us about the event.

LM: I was introduced to the Yeti Snakebite 50k by Seth Herman who was living in my neighborhood in Mableton several years ago. He mentioned he was going to run a 50k trail event and said I should join him. The event is like none other in that the goal of the event is for 100% completion rate and to encourage your fellow runners. The atmosphere is like a party. Only 125 runners are allowed in each year and there aren’t time cutoffs if I remember correctly. I recommend watching Dead Last: The Yeti Trail Runners Movie on YouTube for a good laugh as Yeti was founded by an irreverent skateboarder named Jason Green. The Snakebite 50k at Sweetwater State Park is comprised of 3 loops with each loop being about 9.6Mi. Total Race this year was 29 mi and had about 3700 vert. I can’t recommend it enough as it is the most fun you can have while suffering if that makes sense.

SGPT: Where was it? How was the weather?

ME: The weather was perfect. 45 degrees at the start around 8am and then it warmed up to low 60s through out the day.

SGPT: How did you train for the event? I think you used SGPT 365 as a method?

LM: I trained by rucking with 30lbs 3-5x a week for about an hour each session. I trained at Island Ford trails similar to what the race consisted of normally doing 4-5mi sessions. I built up core and overall body strength by using SGPT 365 workouts. I built mental calluses by doing workouts like Murph and Cindy after running or rucking with my dogs to stay sharp and learn to keep pushing forward.

SGPT: What was the hardest part of the event for you?

LM: The last lap was tough by then I had run 18 mi already and my body hurt and I was sick of taking in nutrition. At that point when you know you have another 9.6 miles to go you have to breakdown the race into micro goals. Coach Brad always says just make it to lunch. I had to concentrate on taking in around 300-400 calories every hour and make sure to stay on pace to hit my goal of 6:22 that I set. I focused on 1 mile at a time and I refused to stop running as I knew I would probably cramp up. The last few miles were steep downhill followed by steep uphill. I knew what to expect and I listened to some music to keep my mind focused.

SGPT: What felt like it was the easiest?

LM: The first 2 laps were pretty good. I didn’t have issues keeping pace and nutrition was pretty tolerable at that point. I enjoy running trails and the Yeti tribe are pretty cool people so it made the time fly by on the first 2 laps.

SGPT: Was there a moment you felt like quitting? How did you talk yourself out of it?

LM: The last mile I was in excruciating pain. Everything hurt feet were banged and toes bleeding, back hurt, ribs on right side hurt, and neck hurt. Trying to channel my inner Goggins I kept reminding myself that I would stop when I was finished and not until then. I visualized how great it was going to feel when I crossed the finish line and accomplished my goal that I set on Jan 1 of this year.

SGPT: If you had another shot at it – What would you have done differently?

LM: This was my 2nd time doing this race. 2 years ago in 2021 I did the race just to see if I could do it. It took me 7:22 to complete. I made a lot of mistakes with training, nutrition etc and I wanted to do better. Completing the race this time under 6 hours was vindicating. I finished 13th overall after never running more than 10 miles during training.

SGPT: How did you recover afterwards?

LM: I completely rested for several days. I would walk my dogs on day 2 but I was pretty crippled afterwards. On day 4 it was time for a hike to get the body moving again.

SGPT: Any tips for someone wanting to train for and enter a trail run event like this?

LM: Sign up for something scary and train with discipline realizing that most things in life are mental especially endurance events.

SGPT: What’s your next big goal?

LM: TBD. I am thinking 50 Miler or even a 100 Miler for 2024. I love riding mountain bikes so maybe a long mountain bike event could be in my future.

SGPT: What book are you currently reading?

LM: I am reading The Good and Beautiful God for spiritual growth and listening to Endure by Cameron Hanes.

SGPT: Do you have a podcast that you could recommend?

LM: I have been listening to the Daily Audio Bible most days for about 15 years and love the Jocko Podcast and listening to Joe Rogan.

SGPT: Thanks for the interview Laurence. We are proud of your continued efforts to improve your body and mind and push forward as a family man to improve the world around us.

LM: Coach I am grateful to be apart of the SGPT family and look forward to continuing to improve 1% each day. I get such inspiration from each of you and the way you live your lives. Keep dreaming big and enjoy the ride!

Fantastic. 2 years ago i did race in 7hrs 22 min. I did a sub 6hr this time. Placed 13th overall out of 125. Smashed my personal goal to take 1 hr off my time. Never stopped during race. Was very prepared with hydration and nutrition and had back ups in case of gear or nutrition failing. As usual never ran more than about 4-6mi at one time. Mainly rucked fast on rough trails with my dogs w 30lbs 3-5x a week. Built a base for several months and then increased weight and duration slightly. Tried to remember fight to win audios you made years ago and implemented micro goals all through out the race to stay on track and stay focused while ignoring pain for last 2 hrs. Just kept thinking about how great it would feel to accomplish goal and forcing myself to not stop. Very proud of this effort. Months of prep and executed my plan. Scared of next goal maybe a 50 miler? Honestly I would love to do a mountain bike thing at some point and would like to discuss with you

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