1–2 Mar 2025 317 days to go! #BostonRunShow

Dave Hale

My running life started back in High School Cross Country (1977-1978). Despite being one of the slowest, I kept pushing. Fast forward to 1986 when I joined the Army and running was forced on me, but in a good way.
Through my 22-year Army career, running and I had a love and hate relationship. My BIG breakthrough came in 2005 after surviving Stage 4 esophageal cancer and told I had a 2% chance of surviving. Obviously, I did survive, which is when the remarkable started happening. Anyone who has gone through a similar life altering experience knows that after you escape it, and come out that much better on the other side, you then have the feeling that you can accomplish anything.
That is when my running really took off.
After retiring from the Army in 2008, I started to enter A LOT of local 5K races and started to win a lot of podium places in my age group. Finally, in 2014, the ultramarathon bug hit me and I was hooked. So, in 2015, I set the goal to enter the Trail Runner Magazine Trophy Series of ultra races and see if I could win. Low and behold, after 7 months of racing almost every weekend, I won the Grand Champion awards for both the most races (23) and most miles completed (over 400).
Unfortunately, in 2016, I suffered a mini stroke, which left me at the time with paralysis and unable to walk. This led me to have to learn to walk again without falling over. I’ll tell you one thing, when you go through this, you end up with a tactical helmet as your best friend to avoid cracking your head open when you can finally start to walk, then run.
I’ve had plenty of doctors tell me that I was supposed to die and that I would not be able to run again. The one thing I always looked back to was surviving a death sentence cancer and knowing to never listen to the naysayers. You Are Only As Strong As Your Mind Is!!!
I now compete in mainly 5K road races and I routinely race in 30 – 45 per year. As a researcher and Sports Psychologist, I now use my research skills to uncover how others can use current supplements, conditioning, recovery and other strategies to not just run, but to perform at their highest level while overcoming medical and age-induced setbacks.
What I love about running, and the running communities I am part of, is using my past history with overcoming multiple cancer and stroke episodes to motivate and inspire others who may be going through the same and to show that nothing is beyond the power of their mind.