Our Second Date Was A Trail Run
“We Met through an online app and first off, I thought she was dang hot,” Jacob said. “Then secondly, she was looking for someone to run Spartans with.” Having just signed up for his first Spartan race, Jacob was interested. Unsure of how to start the conversation, Jacob initiated the topic of Spartans. “That sparked our first conversation.”
Melody recalled their memorable second date that was a sign of things to come: a trail run. “ Jacob was actually disappointed because he thought I would be a lot faster than I was,” she smiled. Melody had signed up for a marathon in 2017, eventually having to defer the event to 2018 due to a broken toe. At that time, she suggested to Jacob that she take her free ticket and drop to a half marathon so they could both run the half. Jacob refused. “He said no way,” she recalled. “At the time doing a Marathon seemed insane to us.” And so Melody and Jacob trained for 8 weeks together, finishing the Morgan Valley Marathon in Utah together.
Asking if the marathon experience was all Jacob recalled needing to know to get married, he laughed. “Not quite. But four months after that we were engaged.”
The Quarter Life Crisis Ultrarunners
After the marathon, Melody and Jacob eventually got married. During this time, she recalls a quarter-life crisis. “We graduated college and we got married,” Melody explained. “Life just seemed kind of dull.” At this time, Jacob had just finished reading Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. This sparked the idea to do something big and the two decided to do the Bryce Canyon 50 Miler together. “We trained together, completed that, and it was awesome,” Melody smiled. “It was a spiritual experience.”
Following their 50-mile finish, the two signed up for Ute 100 in Utah in 2020. “It just made sense to do a hundred next,” Melody stated. Then the pandemic happened.
A Self-Supported Hundred for Life
“The world shut down and our race was canceled right in the middle of training,” Melody recalled. “Our hearts were set on this.” Melody and Jacob had just launched the Trail to 100 podcast and were documenting their journey to their first 100-mile race. Halfway through training and determined to run 100 miles, the two decided they would do just that.
“We’re already training,” Melody explained. “So we’re going to run a hundred miles anyway.” The entirety of the 2020 summer was spent planning out the course they would run on. Friends and family joined in to be crew, volunteers, and pacers. Melody and Jacob eventually ran their first 100 self-supported and now consider themselves hooked on ultrarunning for the rest of their lives.
Ultrarunning Keeps Us in the Same Ballpark
“The first thing I’ve noticed [about ultrarunning] is that it’s given us something to really rally around as a couple,” Jacob stated. “To always just be like we’re in the same corner – the same ballpark.” Being candid, Jacob and Melody discussed the difficulty of marriage and the importance of having something to be passionate about and connected about together.
Jacob recalls when he told someone about the hundred-mile race he was doing with his wife. “He said you ain’t ever getting divorced. I didn’t get it at first.” Jacob and Melody laugh, remembering that they’ve had some of their closest moments and biggest fights on the trail. “We’re going to do this long run together, come home together, and still be with each other,” Melody added.
The Podcast for Beginner Ultrarunners
During their training for the Ute 100, you’ll recall that Jacob and Melody started the Trail to 100 podcast. Three years have passed and the podcast is here to stay, now moving into its fourth season. The Trail to 100 podcast continues to tell the origin stories of everyday athletes who became ultrarunners. The aim of the show? Help beginners become ultrarunners and run their first 100. You can find all things Trail to 100 here and follow the show on Apple or Spotify.