Name: Franklin Baker
Occupation: Physician Assistant at Center of Integrative Medicine
Years running: 10
Why do you run? I find it healthy for my mind/body/spirit. My body feels better in motion; my mind is happier and I find time to connect with God.
Favorite place to run: Smokies! I’m in love with Alum Cave trail up to Leconte to Boulevard to Newfound Gap (roughly 13 gorgous miles!)
Favorite achievement: 6th place at 2016 GDR–Still not sure how I pulled that off
Toughest moment in a race: Burning river 100 — mile 80 I quit, turned my watch off and told my wife to go get the car. Instead, she sent my friend out with a pair of warm sweats and food. They told me there was no way to get a car to me and I would have to walk out! My mind shifted from quiting to not dying. I got up, put the sweats on, ate some food while I walked and within 1/2 mile somehow was back to runnning. Finished and then realized they’d tricked me! Good one team!
Goals / Schedule 2017:
1. Cloudland canyon 12 miler
2. Mt mitchell 40 miler February
3. Plan to run all trails up/down leconte mountain in the smokies early March
4. Georgia Death Race April
5. Cruel Jewel 100 May
6. SCAR attempt with buddies June/July–Run across smokies on the AT trail , roughly 72 miles with 20,000 ft of vert
7. CO- RD Georgia Jewel 100/50/35/17 with my wife September
8. Stump Jump October
9. Upchuck ( by far my favorite race! Lots of locals/feels like a reunion/grassroot race/minimally supported
10.. Leaving the rest open!
Tips for new runners: Stay consist, make it fun and build slow. Increase your weekly miles by no more than 10% each week. It hurts and feels very uncomfortable for about 3 months but then one day running feels easy. You’ll breath better, enjoy your surroundings more and not feel as much pain. STICK WITH IT! YOU CAN DO IT!!!