Latest Updates from Birthday Challengers Far and Wide...



Now  Just a Goddammed Minute: Part II

Jacqueline Florine  is going to attempt to annihilate history by eating... and get this... 4 fritter in 40 minutes! No, that is not a misprint (look, it's written below as well). This insanity pretty much blows away anything that's been attempted prior. Of course, she hasn't done it yet. Here's what she has to say about it. In the words of Hondo, "ummm, there's not much I can do for ya."

I am going for the ultimate record on fritter pounding--or will die trying! My will and estate are in order. I refuse to make it any easier with exercise, pacing, or bulimia. Pray for me, please!
p.s. I think Hans would be willing to video the terrible event.


Now  Just a Goddammed Minute!

Can this be serious? Rumor is floating around about Jacqueline Florine attempting a rather insane 40th birthday challenge that includes eating 4 fritters in 40 minutes. This would break any sort of fritter-eating record by about 8 hours, but we'll wait to comment until it's confirmed.


Milk Challenge Outlawed in School!?

Apparently, there's a case in which a teacher has been fired for allowing his class to participate in an experiment on how much milk their bodies can handle.  And, for christs sake, we thought this country had moved past religious persecution! The link seemed to have died (covered up by the right wing, no doubt) but you may be able to find more using yahoo.

Hey, he can always come work for us. We don't have any money but we've plenty of williing students.


Clear, As Mud

Todd's proposed challenge has been garnishing confusion. He's supposed to run to 33 bars, re-living up 16 drinking scenes from films but, apparently, all involving whiskey. Too bad, means he misses out on The Big Clock. Nothing like a little Creme de Menthe whilst running 30 miles.

Here's a letter to the ed. courtesy of Reed Bartlett

Right. Clear. As mud.

Maybe you could have specified that you were looking for a drinking
scene involving whiskey for your birthday challenge.

There has to be something in one of the Thin Man movies. I'll think
about it and see what I can come up with. But, my guess is that Bob
and Steve might be your best resources.

~The Imbiber


And Now, Mr. Todd Mei

Congratulations to Steve Edwards for his completion of the major aspects of his birthday challenge.  Meanwhile, Neuman still waits for his martini and steak dinner owed to him by the same.
Well, I've decided to do a birthday challenge this year after laying dormant during 2003.  My challenge will be in April in Wisconsin.
I need help from the Society in composing a portion of the challenge.  I need 16 drinking scenes that I can imitate.  I already have three (all from Barfly):
1. "Here's to My Friends"
2. Old Timer (when the man uses his sweater to lift his drinking hand to his mouth)
3. "That's it, back to normal..." (when Chinaski drinks a scotch and soda in one steady effort) 
Nacirema Drinking Society


So I was in this bar and...

Bob Banks has been concocting a new challenge over pitches of beer at Santa Barbara's Brewhouse. He says he wants something that'll make him train for 6 months. The way Bob trains, this could mean either cirrhosis,  death from dehydration, death from overtraining, or all of the above. All we know is that means it going to be hard. Here's an old training journal.


In the Aftermath...

The Report will come soon, but here's a sneak preview. As Steve and Bob engaged in some crazy-looking shenanigans while trying to finish all the routes before the ensuing darkness, someone said, "I don't know if I'm watching two people that are just really good at what they do, or are about to kill themselves."


All Things are Ready if our Minds Be So

After a final viewing of Henry V, Steve is rarin' to go. If only he had a Welsh longbow...

"He who hath no stomach for this fight, let him depart..."


Donate Money and Get All the Shark You Can Eat

Anyone donating to either of the .orgs is welcome to come eat some shark at the après party, held at Steve's house. It should be pretty festive, at least for everyone except Steve, who's likely to be either trying to finish the last of his pull-ups, passed out, or still climbing.

Chad will be at the Q, along with this sucker, which took an Old-Man-and-The-Sea-esque battle to land. 3 hours brought it along side the boat, then it was 500-pound fish vs homemade harpoon. 


Reed Checks In

Apparently, Reed really did four peat as he used his 1,000-mile August as a substitute challenge. What happened was that he was so tired from logging all those miles that he didn't much feel like adding another long sufferfest at the beginning of Sept. 

Kudos, Bubba

He also received a report from Utah, that we'll be posting shortly, about two women that completed a stiff off-the-couch challenge.


"Nothin' or Double, Jack" - Wang

"So, the challenge is out there I think it's been put out there by us."

"Good, Steve"
- from the ski flick, License to Thrill

In order to try and create more fervor in the fundraising realm, Stainless has offered to double all contributions if anyone can keep up with him during his challenge. That's a pretty simple fundraiser for anyone that can climb, run, bike, shoot free throws, throw strikes and hold their breath.

Bring it on!


Fundraising Kicks In

For those of you needing a tax write-off as the year ends, Steve's challenge will provide you with two options: the CONCERN Foundation, funding cancer research, and the Friend's of Joshua Tree, an advocate group for Joshua Tree National Park. 

Being so last-minute, the fundraising is going to be tight. Both organizations should have donation links up on their sites within the next few days. To read more about why Steve chose these particular organizations, go here.


Nathan Welton Gets Hooked

Here's the report.

ahhahahahaa. dude. epic. it kind of evolved as it went, and the crux of the situation was dealing with my intestines... here's what happened:

the official challenge:

260 minute bike ride
26 boulder problems
26 laps on t-crack
26 km run
26 waves caught at the beach
26 minute ocean swim
2 shots and 6 beers
2.6 ginormous burritos

all i really cared about was the 26 laps on t-crack, so... the day started at 5 am with a 2.6 hour bike ride, half of which was in the dark (screw that 260 minute stuff -- the day wasn't long enough) followed by my 26 boulder problems, followed by the 26 laps on t-crack, which took about 4 hours, up and down and up and down and up and down. holy crap. up and down and up and down. gallon of gatorate and four bananas. up and down. liter of water and two granola bars. up and down. big leg cramp at one point, sunburn, up and down. by the time i was done i was wobbling. 

then i ate a ginormous burrito i wound up at the beach at 3 to surf, but i could barely move my arms to paddle, so the 26 waves turned into 26 attempts. then i got a crazy case of the farts, because hey, i'd been eating powerbars and stuff all day long. the ocean swim was more of an ocean float, because if i moved my feet my left quad, both calves and my feet would all simultaneously cramp. 

i still had to do the run, but because my farts were rapidly turning into the shits, i decided on a 26 minute run on the beach (which would allow me to run into the ocean if i crapped my pants)... word. 

the 2 shots and 6 beers turned into 2.6 glasses of wine at the end of the day.

it was so much fun, though. thanks for the idea and inspiration. 

the next day i awoke and actually felt refreshed... i stretched and yawned, and then jumped out of bed. ha. oops. my legs gave out immediately and i fell on my face in a crumpled heap. go birthday challenge! it took a week to stop feeling like lead.

i'm going to do this every year till i die.


Steve's Training Log

Here is an excerpt from my training log. When this started, I didn't have a bd challenge in mind yet. Now that I do, I'll post these from time to time in the news. Here is the complete log.

Thur – all I did was bike about an hour and do yoga and I’m STILL sore, especially biceps from Monday’s back and bi workout, which is killer. Hope to do more today, though I can still feel my back and don’t want to take any steps backwards. Did Yoga Booty Ballet—umm, no comment, but I HAVE to do it since we're going to market it and it's definitely an estrogen thing—to warm-up and then did the chest, shoulder, tri for the first time. Really creative and fun and a serious hammering, especially for the shoulders and tri’s.

So, I AM doing a bd challenge on my real birthday that comes in the middle of this program. That means more cool testing, since I'll try and have a little peak, then his it back up again after. It will extend the overall program a few weeks. No problem with that. It's a blast.

Fri – My friend Leigh made a comment something like, “when do you do any housework or chores with weekend’s like that?” My answer is that you should see my place right now and you’d know, I don’t. Okay, so maybe I will tonight. 

Sat was climbing day, except that it was ridiculously hot and got cut short when my partner got heat stroke. I wasn’t far behind. We still got in 6 routes—a full day for most people—plus two-hours of hiking in the heat. 

Sun was sports day and I was up before dawn and loading my van with apparatus to surf, road bike, mtn bike, run, climb, or boulder. The morning started with what was supposed to be an easy to moderate 50-mile group ride but turned into a 70-mile reasonable hard training ride. The “no drop” policy got thrown out the window and near the end I found myself off the front with 3 other people out of a group of 40+ starters. After nearly two months off, this was much more than I needed—and riding through the smoke and ash didn’t help. Pretty worked, I opted for an afternoon surf. My legs were cramping each time I tried to get up on the board but the water was by far the most comfortable place to be in yesterday’s 100-degree smoky weather. 

On my drive home I was hammered (theme for my weekends, it seems), even though it doesn’t feel like I’ve been doing as much volume as normal. Blame it on 90X, perhaps (or for sure). Certainly, this morphing process I’m going through is going to pay dividends once I’m adapted to it! 


From Todd Mei in Wisconsin

You're dead shit, buddy.  Next time I see you, you die.
Good luck on the 43.  When it gets tough, think of 4th and inches or bagders.
If you're really game for mine--32 miles and 10-15 bars (shot of whiskey in each, yikes - ed)--in April, you should be ready for some damn fun.  I'm living the high life in my parents' condo, just near the Capitol.  You should stay longer and hit up Southen Illinois for some of the best sport climbing ever.  Seriously, I've heard some great things about people (including Kurt Smith) about how good Southern is compared to everywhere else.
But I know you're not serious as a deacon.  Your fish is four days old, and I'm not buying any of it.
Here's to Frank.


Did We Just Say Something About "When it rains..."?

The last post hadn't even hit anyone's in-box yes when this popped up on the Message Boards at 

One quick question...Is the site still active? It seems like almost all of the challenges are from 2000 (except 1 I saw from Apr 2003, the guy's 3rd).

My challenge will take place in June of next year so I have plenty of time to train. I would like it if you could give me some hints on how to tweak my workout plans to accomplish me challenge. Here is my current plan, with modifications to come depending on my progress and what original items I can come up with.

3.4 mile run
34 mile bike ride (mountain bike on city streets
34 laps in an Olympic pool (currently a lap meaning one-way)
34 minutes of pick-up Ice Hockey (actual on-ice time)
340 crunches
340 pushups
340 chair dips
34,000 lbs of weights (question below)
Jump rope 3400 times
3.4 liters of Gatorade/Powerade
34 homemade chocolate chip cookies
34 baby-back ribs from On The Border (Tex-mex rest., but their sauce is awesome and there is little fat)

My current known abilities:
TH300 (30 X 10)
all pushups and dips in P90 3/4 and PHH (devil-dogs are a pain in the arse)
60 pushups in 2 minutes
100 situps in 2 minutes
1.5 mile run in 11:45

My current training plans are:
4 weeks of PHH Upper Body
4 weeks of PHH The Last Hurrah
1 round of P90 3/4
1 round of P90X

Now my questions.
1. How much riding per week and days per week would be prudent to be able to do the ride in less than two hours?
2. Same with the running
3. How are the weights calculated. If you do a curl with a 25lb weight in each hand, does that count as 50 lbs lifted (therefore, if I theoretically did 680 curls X 25lb each hand =34000 lbs lifted)?
4. Will my current plan let me accomplish everything else?
5. If at all possible, how many calories )+/-500) would I have to consume that day?


This Week's Post of the Month is a Birthday Challenge

And here is is: congrats, Philip!

Beach Body Motivation

Message Board Post of the Month

This month, our congratulations go out to member Phillip, for his incredible achievement. Here’s a guy that went from someone that couldn’t walk around to block to one of the fitter 49-year-olds in the country in a couple of years! Salut.

Hi Steve,

When I started to think about doing a Birthday Challenge for my 49th in July, I was just getting into the SlimSeries and thought that 4.9 hours of Tear It Up might be fun, but quickly came to my senses and got rid of that idea. Running 4.9 miles wasn't an option since it wasn't a challenge. For me, the person who could barely walk around my neighborhood without getting out of breath before starting with P90, the challenge would have to be to run 49k.

 You may recall that my first long run to prep for my challenge was in June when I cramped up from a lack of sodium after 15 miles and had to walk 5 more miles back to my car. I obviously needed to learn about hydration and electrolyte replacement before tackling the b-day run. I decided, after reading all that Dr. Bill Misner has written on the topic, to move my run from mid July to the autumn to avoid any chance of hyponatremia.

I was set to go on Sat., 9/27 but had to postpone it. I have recently started riding lessons and to improve my balance I wanted to try riding bareback. I promptly fell off the horse when she got into a canter and as my glutei are not so maximus anymore, I got quite banged up and was too sore to run.

I was a bit anxious all last week until I convinced myself to just relax and have fun with the challenge. Saturday morning I was up at 5:10 and started with PHH Stretch to warm up. I drove to the hike/bike trail that runs along the Hudson near my home and began at 6:37. At the 5-mile mark my left knee started to make itself known. I was slightly concerned because as part of my routine for the previous 3 weeks I had been doing plies holding two 40lb. dumbbells instead of the lunges and squats in P90 Sculpt. I don't think my form was perfect and for the first time I was feeling a little twinge in my knees. By 15 miles my left knee was really protesting, but no cramps like the last time. At 18 miles the pain was rather severe. With just 2 miles to get back to my car I started to feel a little like Scott of the Antarctic trying to get back to One Ton Depot.

My time for 20 miles was 4:20. There was no way that I was going to be able to do another 10 miles to complete my challenge. Ten minutes later I was home and rather dejected because I screwed up again. I asked myself "WWJD?" (What Would Jack [LaLanne] Do?). I got on the Nordic Trac and started skiing. The skiing motion didn't hurt my knee, but after 70 minutes I was totally played out. Total time spent in vigorous cardio for the day was 5 hours and 30 minutes or 4:90 (I had to get the 49 in some way!).

I think that I suffered satisfyingly and sufficiently enough for a semi-successfully completed, changed on the fly, Birthday Challenge.

Best regards, Philip


So The Challenge Is Out There

And it's been getting a lot of flack on it's initial concept. Check back for reports or go to Steve's page.


Stainless To Raise Money?

It seems like the BD Challenge creator is going to lay it out there and try and raise some fast cash. Rumor has it that it's down to the wire between The Friend's of Joshua Tree and The CONCERN Foundation.

And just what is going to earn all this fundraising?


When It Rains...

And the very same week, this just came in from one Nathan Welton:

I''m doing my birthday challenge this weekend, by the way.

260 minute bike ride
26km run
26 laps on t-crack
26 boulder problems at an average grade of v2.6
26 beers/shots/twinkies/gnarly foods
26 minute ocean swim


Todd Has An Idea

I just had a brilliant idea for my 32nd birthday challenge. Nate Emerson will be helping plan a 32-mile bootleg run where we visit 10-15 bars. For those of you who don't know, a bootleg run is where you can only drink whiskey.


Steve's Training Log

Here is an excerpt from my training log. When this started, I didn't have a bd challenge in mind yet. Now that I do, I'll post these from time to time in the news. Here is the complete log.

Fri – Sick of protein, I didn’t eat much Thursday and felt better (and big part of the high-pro phenomenon according to studies is that you just don't eat as much as normal). Lack energy somewhat but not horribly. Really wanted pizza Friday night but skipped that and ended up slacking by eating a bunch of ice cream. 

Did a lot of yoga this week, which is great. I’m have the world’s tightest hips and they’ve never gotten very loose (and won’t), but I’ve used this as an excuse not to work them, causing me to lose some of the little range of motion that I had. Feel like I’m starting to get it back. Cool. 

Too tired for another road trip so weekend climbing plans have been altered… 

Sat – Had a ‘sports day,’ in order to burn off the ice cream. Here’s how it went: 

8:30 – 10:30 – surf (don’t know how to surf so this consisted of lots of paddling and getting thrashed by waves) 

11-12:00 – mtn biking. Got shut down on trail because of my dog, so sesh was shorter than planned. 

1 – 3:00 – rockclimbing. Easy day, 3 moderate routes all 5.10 (quite easy for me). 

3:30 – 4:30 – trail run. Loop from Topanga over to Will Rogers and back. 

5 – 6:00 – beach volleyball. Hadn’t played in years (though I used to play a lot). Still will be a little sore from moving in sand. 

Watched “Bend It Like Beckham”. Can’t finish off a sports day without a sports movie. Great film, by the way and you'd have to be one cynical bastard not to think so. 

Sun – “ Get the crap kicked out of me day”

Went “surfing” at Santa Cruz Island on a board that was way too short and narrow for me to navigate. Also somehow missed the reef warning orientation and ended up being hurled towards some rocks and thinking, “I’ve been withheld some critical need-to-know information!” My “wonder if feet work like anchors” solution had the right effect on inertia except that it looked as though I’d been lufa-ing with a cheese grater, making me the slowest moving bleeding thing in the water amongst one of the highest concentrations of White sharks in the world. Switched to a boogey board because 1) it was far easier to catch waves and avoid rocks, and 2) sharks apparently don’t like the color yellow, which happened to be the color of my fins. Trying to learn some technique, I starting watching Dogtown and Z-Boys but fell asleep on the couch about 2 sips into a beer and dreamt about sharks biting my feet. 

Second Training Block 

Week 5 

I feel like I’ve spent the last 4 weeks doing absolutely nothing within’ my comfort zone. My body is so sore that I’m can’t even begin to point out any particular sore areas, as it’s one big numb blob (except for my feet, that look as though practicing Wu-Tan on Freddy Krueger). For 8 months I did almost nothing but ride my bike, run, and eat pasta. Now I’m doing everything but ride my bike, run, and eat pasta. Can you say “adaptive phase?” You betchya! 

It’s fascinating to observe oneself going through this, especially since brain power—exacerbated by lack of carbohydrates, the only proper brain fuel—falters as well. My friend Andrea summed this up so creatively I’m going to borrow her comments. She’s been following a similar overtraining schedule since the surf came up. After spending more time in the water than sleeping this weekend, comments on our ride home last night began with, “I’m having delirium,” progressed to “…becoming defunct, “ when finally she became “a lump of human flesh melting into the seat” just before I poured her into her apartment. 


The Email That Got Us Off Our Asses

We just got this, which essentially told us it was time to get back on it. Thanks, Keith


This next year I've created a little birthday challenge for myself to celebrate cheating death for 40 years. As a recreational endurance athlete, I committed to the following thus far:
For 40 days prior to my birthday, pick up litter in public places everyday.
On my birthday Wake at 4:40 AM
Do 40 push ups
Swim for 40 minutes in the ocean
Run 40 miles
Enjoy a 40 year old bottle of wine
Dedicate the entire effort to raising money for pediatric cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering on the behalf of FRED's Team.

It would be fun to post this event on and drive some traffic to your site, is it still maintained?
Your site has been a great inspiration, Keith


Mike Reddig Back For More

We've heard no official word, but rumor has it that Mike Reddig has been trolling around for bd challenge ideas. He ticked a nice one last year and seems to be lookin' to up it this year. And here is yet another challenge idea thread.


The Greatest Year Of My Life

We just got word from Bob Makela, who's still out there on his "greatest year," even when it doesn't seem so great. Hey, nothing is really great without a challenge, up Bob's been a bit up against it lately. And Bob's a writer, making his chronical's all that much more fun to read.


Well, We Took A Little Break

And no one did birthday challenges! Bob and Hans, who often do one together or similar, both backed out. Greg Carter, who usually has a summer fundraiser, didn't sign-on which probably is due to his wife, Megan, being preggers--congrats, guys!!! Then Reed, who's done one every year backed out. He did, however, not quietly sit his bd out. In fact, the night before he and Bob Banks got so drunk the "we made complete asses out of ourselves" at a party at Jen and John Fieldhouse's. Then, in fine bd challenge tradition, they got up with ranging hangovers and did a technical 22-mile mtn bike ride.


Binky Greene Saddles Up

Now remember, things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is. - The Outlaw Josey Wales

I've never done a traditional birthday challenge: Planning, number driven tasks related to age, etc. It's not my style. Maybe I'm a lazy bastard. Of late, I've been working on my kitchen (with the aid of the now absent Mike Brown.) I've been breaking new ground in terms of skills needed and used.The counter is already in, as are the sink and two cabinets. I've hit a mental wall, working all day and coming home to face the chaos. Since I can't stop now, seeing as the kitchen is ripped to shreds, I've decided to up the ante. Done by the weekend (minus special order items.) It's my challenge. -Complete electrical refurbishment -Dishwasher install -2 high, 1 base cabinet install -Stove install -Drywall repair -Cabinet trim -Paint Pictures to follow. Bink



Neuman and Company pulled into Santa Barbara last night, with only a handfull of problems remaining which Neuman ticked without incident. The gang was looking blurry-eyed and weary, but fiesta'd late into the night nonetheless at Chez Request. For a closer look at how the trip went, make sure and check out the Trip Reports.


Just When It Seemed Like Nothing Could Stop Them...

The gang ran into some car trouble. Apparently, a routine tire rotation has led to a scary situation with our heroes being sidelined in bum-frig Oregon awaiting repairs. When last they checked in, they were 2 days ahead of schedule with 4 to go. Certainly, nothing could go wrong...


Runnin' From the Devil

Our hereos head west, chasing by hoodlums, rain, tornados, and hillbillies. Despite an injured ankle, Neuman has succeeded each day and they currently drive through the night completely on schedule.


This just in from Team Leader Todd Mei:

Neuman sprained his ankle in the Gunks but was still able to get his 24 problems in. The next day, in Delaware, he pulled off a granite block on his head (apparently we'll have good video of this). Still undaunted, the team headed to Maryland that afternoon but torrential rains turned their bouldering session into a 4-hour drinking session as they were stranded while their local guide drove back to Delaware to fetch his crash pad, which he'd forgotten in the wake of the accident.

After dispatching 24 problems in Kentucky during a downpour (without breaking a single sandstone hold), they are now speeding towards Missouri in hopes of outracing the storm that's been following them for the last few days.


From the Nacirema Drinking Society

Dear Fellow Naciremans,

As many of you know, Neuman, his brother, myself and various others who will be joining us along the way will be embarking on a climbing marathon to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis and COTA (Children's Organ Transplant Association).  Our itinerary is below.  Nothing much to it except lots of driving and climbing.  All time estimated on 60mph and each day we end by driving to the next bouldering destination, only to begin climbing there the next morning.  Neuman will be climbing 24 boulder problems in each state.
One thing I've added.  We have a big jug of Jim Beam bourbon.  After an area has been climbed, it'll be shots all around for Neuman and the support crew.
So, we may be around your area.  But more than likely we may not have any time to say hi.  But if you'd like us to give you a call when we're in your part of the country, pass along your telephone or cell phone number.  We can always use a driveway or yard to sleep in, a shower, and some pep.  Otherwise, it's sleeping in the van, in a parking lot or driving straight through.  Showes at the Flying Js and Travel Centers.
Come join us for the final party in Santa Barbara on the 24th at Phil Requist's place.
And oh yeah, we're still taking donations.  So if you or any other you know might want to chip in, every bit helps.  So far we' ve raised $19K.  The goal is $24K.
We're leaving May 1st, bright and early.
We'll be sending updates by email to and as often as we can.
Git On It!
Support Crew Captain


Distance To

Est. Hrs.^


Day 1











Day 2







est from Bloomington to Ironton




some problems; to Clarion




to Allentown


Day 3




rest of the problems




to Providence




to Boston




to Portsmouth


Day 4







to Kingston


Day 5




Day 6







to Fredderick




to Morgantown


Day 7







to Slade




to Knoxsville


Day 8







to Fayetteville




to Chandler Park


Day 9







to Albuquerque

Day 10




Day 11




Day 12







to Flagstaff




to Salt Lake City


Day 13




Day 14







to Boulder


Day 15




Day 16







to New Castle


Day 16




Day 17







to Almo


Day 18







to Terrebonne

Day 19







to Tahoe


Day 20







San Francisco / Motel


Day 21




Castle Rock




Santa Barbara


Day 22




Lizard's Mouth

Total Miles


Nacirema Drinking Society


D-Day Approaches

From Todd:

the party was a successful fund raiser: just over $1K. Allergies have been hell.  Drinking makes them worse.  But Tim and I had the best day of bouldering possibly ever at the Lake.  Did a circuit of the Lake of almost every classic problem, went on foot.  51 problems, started at 8am, ended with a V8 that Tim got his first go.  Then had Oly by the south shore. Also met with Neuman and his brother Mike to go over the itinerary.  We're getting set to go.  Hope good weather holds out.  Feels like I'm planning DDAY or something.


Learn the Ropes

I tried to get other pictures of the attached shirt.  There's quite a bit of history with this shirt.  And if it were able to talk, it might begin something like what C.S. Lewis said at one of his last lectures at Oxford:
"I am the last of my kind..."
Indeed, this shirt was first owned by Kenji and somehow was passed on to Steve.  And some time in 1991 or 1992 it was passed on to me.  I think "passed on" is a little misleading as the shirt has a tendency, like the ring, to float from owner to owner.  Alas, it has rested with me and has stayed put.  But it is on it's last leg with holes in the armpit, faded graphics and lettering that said "Learn the Ropes".
I saw a picture of Steve with this same shirt on at his parents' house in Lake Tahoe.  The shirt was a vibrant blue with bright, white lettering.  I don't know.  Steve must have been in his mid twenties.  The days of a brown leather jacket and riding motorcycles.
I plan on wearing it as much as I can during Neuman's birthday challenge: a fitting farewell to such a time honored shirt.
Mr. Sing 


Change of Itinerary; Note from COTA

Got this from the President of COTA.  Hooking up with the Newenglandbouldering guys to do some bouldering in NH, RI and either MA or VT. Taking out VA and NC and hopefully fucking TX.

"Why would I tell anyone about Lavik? Jesus!"
Todd Mei

I'll let you know how the party went.


It was great to speak with you this morning...and thanks for all the work
you and Lisa are doing for us and the CF Foundation!  This is a wonderful
alternative to boring golf outings and black tie events with rubber chicken

I have to admit I am not a climber myself, but both my 13-year-old son and
9-year-old daughter love to climb the wall at our local Galyan's stores in
the Indianapolis area.  My son, Josh, likes to brag to his friends that he
has conquered the wall there and would love to try what you are doing at
some point in the future.

We do alot of work with CF patients, and in fact have five people right now
at either Duke or UNC-Chapel Hill (within 15 minutes of each other) that
have formed a great support group that keeps everyone on task and provides a
network that has been helpful with all the issues they each face with CF.  I
hope you and Lisa had a similar group to rely on at the UW.

Please let me know if you need anything and I will get right on it!

Have a great time tomorrow evening at the kick-off event!

Rick Lofgren, President
Children's Organ Transplant Association


Perhaps a great era has come to an end. Perhaps not.

Patrick Neuman and myself will be closing out our tenure in the back office of Boulders. Also, we're throwing a fund raising party for the start of Neuman's birthday challenge: climb 24 boulder problems, in 24 states, in 24 days. He's trying to raise $24k for cystic fibrosis and the Children's Organ Transplant Association. So far he's somewhere around $17k. If you never heard Lisa, his wife, had a successful double-lung transplant over a year ago. She's doing great and they now want to give back for the gift of life. For more info check out and

So the going-away / fund raising party will be this Saturday, the 26th. It's at Boulders, in Madison, WI, from 8PM onwards. Free food, free "beverages", and a phenomenal gear auction sponsored by Five Ten, Petzl, Gregory, Vasque, Metolius, Kreig, Zealot, Boulders, and Speefnarkle.

Donations will be taken at the door; otherwise, it's free bouldering.

Send Magazine will be there to cover it all. Yeah bro!

So spread the word. The more the merrier!

Allez, Allez, Allez...

Evil Pod Todd


Hellooo Neuman

Hey Steve,

Looks like the birthday challenge is going to be in the next issue of R&I, featuring a picture taken by our own Tim Halbakken of some Devil's Lake bouldering. will be in bold print so I'm told. Thanks for your sweet connections. I am buying a van today for $1000 bucks. The back bench turns into a bed and the walls and ceiling are covered with light blue shag carpeting. Of course each window has it's own venitian blind.



We don't need no stinking challenge...

Birthday greetings to bd challenge alumnus Kenji Haroutunian. While he has no plans for this year, rumor has it that he won't exceed doing 42 minutes of work today at the office. Look for him this evening somewhere in the vacinity of Manny's El Matador, a nefarious Culver City watering hole.


Finally, Kt'K joins in the madness

Former rockclimbing hardwomen turned supermom, Karen t'Kint, of Detroit (friend of TJ and Dex?), has decided to get in the arena. But not before first testing the waters by proxy of her 7-year-old daughter, Lauren, who could become our youngest challenger to actually realize she's doing a challenge (certainly Marianna Florine and Parker Thompson will find out about theirs through legend leeked through their pre-school ranks). Here 's what Karen has to say. Maybe you can help her out.

I've been hearing about this challenge since before it had a name. Now I'm approaching 40 and think it's about time to see if I have the guts to create and face a challenge for myself. My b-day is on August 26th. It 's not an ideal time for a challenge since it will be my kid's first week back at school (Michigan) and I 'll probably be dealing with jet lag. On top of that I really don't deal well with the heat. Nevertheless, here are some goals I'm considering: 40 miles running in one week (this would be huge). 400 push-ups in a week - easy, but don't think I can do in a day. 4 White Castle sliders (they're sold by the dozen, so I'd need help).

I need more suggestions. Ideas anyone???


P.S. My daughter Lauren, whose been looking over my shoulder, thinks it might be fun to do a challenge too. Has a 7 year old ever done this? Her birthday is at the end of May. She 's thinking that a 7 mile bike ride and 7 scoops of ice cream could be a fun 1st challenge. Obviously the ice cream would be the incentive for the ride.

ed note: sounds a little light for someone that bolted and cleaned most of the Holiday Wall. I say we up the ante just a bit.


In a "challenge" that's more like a dream vacation to most people, LA-based (until now) writer Bob Makela is hitting the road for a year-long odyssey. He quit his job, broke up with his girlfriend of 7 years, sold most everything that couldn't fit into his 70-something VW Bus, and took off with no itinerary except to keep moving and record everything he does with journals and photos... and write a book along the way too! You can track his progress at Since he has no itinerary, he's probably available for bd challenge support if he happens to be in your area. He'll even help you report on yours, probably in exchange for a couple of beers and a shower. You can drop him a line on his site or get to him through ours also.


In any given week, I'd say I do about 20 minutes of real work...

And more news from Wisconsin, via Todd Mei:

Bob's recent guidebook is certainly no help to being motivated to work.  It's got everyone excited about meeting up in Santa Barbara for the finale.

Found this in my files.  It is my training schedule for last year's birthday challenge (the 30 mile trail run).  Brings back some good memories.  Guess I'll spend this year in a bar somewhere drinking beer and doing shots of Jagermeister.

10-Feb-02 10 Mile Loop 10.0 79.07 7.91 0:07:55 Slushy conditions; slow first half
12-Feb-02 Gym Run 7.4 51.09 6.90 0:07:05 30 secs waiting for traffic; strong head wind .5 miles on Monona Bay
17-Feb-02 Arb 6.8 45.50 6.69 0:06:41 Day after Barn Burner
19-Feb-02 Capitol East 10.5 83.00 7.90 0:07:54 Rain and heart burn
21-Feb-02 Misc. 3.5 * * * Mileage make-up
26-Feb-02 10 Mile Loop 10.0 82.23 8.22 0:08:13 Strong westerly; light snow
28-Feb-02 Arb 6.8 46.25 6.80 0:06:48 Tired legs; 18 degrees
03-Mar-02 Wrestler's Hill 4.5 n/a n/a n/a 8 times (after 12" of snow)
05-Mar-02 Paterson Loop 6.5 48.14 7.41 0:07:25 Snow on ground for most of run; 1 minute waiting for traffic
05-Mar-02 Gym Run 7.4 60.00 8.11 0:08:07 Snow on ground for most of run; very tired
07-Mar-02 Hospital Loop 4.8 35.33 7.44 0:07:26 Patches of snow; tired legs
09-Mar-02 Middleton Loop 17.0 137.21 8.07 0:08:04 Strong westerly; up to 18mph; flurries
12-Mar-02 Arb 6.8 45.13 6.64 0:06:38 Perfect conditions (50 deg); tired calves
14-Mar-02 10 Mile Loop 10.0 78.58 7.86 0:07:35 Felt good 1st qtr; hit wall; light to strong winds
16-Mar-02 Speed 5.0 n/a n/a n/a 440 (1:09) x 4; 220 x 6; 1 lap
18-Mar-02 Capitol East 10.5 78.18 7.45 0:07:27 Perfect conditions
20-Mar-02 Gym Run + 7.5 56.30 7.51 0:07:37 Very tired legs
27-Mar-02 8 Mile Loop 8.0 67.44 8.43 0:08:26 After road trip to Southern and Red River
28-Mar-02 6 Mile Loop 6.0 47.00 7.83 0:07:50 Time approximate
29-Mar-02 10 Mile Loop 10.0 87.00 8.70 0:08:42 Tired and slow


Gentle Giant Come Up Big

And more news from Wisconsin, via Todd Mei:

And now as I sit here inside my apartment in Wisconsin, the winter will not leave. Today, it is April 7th, Spring in most places. Today in Wisconsin, it is winter with wind, 5 inches of snow, and a sunless sea above. More cheap whiskey.

Congratulations to Nate Emerson who took 2nd in a recent 50 mile race (on his way to train for a 100 mile race in June). Congratulations to Tim Halbakken who successfully completed every aspect of his birthday challenge save the pull-ups. Tim cycled unsupported to Devil's Lake (43 miles each way), climbed a classic John Gill boulder problem 25 times (The Flat Iron V4), cycled back, held his breath for 2:45, and got as far as 18 pull ups after feeding on a large barbeque plate from Famous Dave's. You can read more on Neuman's Challenge at: 


Youngest Transcontinental Trip in the Works

Parker Thompson will depart on a cycling journey across the US, commencing on his 6 month birthday, May 25, 2003! His parents will be joining him and trying to raise some money for trail access in the process. We'll have an update and a link to raise some money available soon. 


Anyone Have an RV Neuman Can Borrow?

Hi Steve,

I was corresponding with Alison Osius from R&I.  She says hi.  Anyways she put the birthday challenge under "inside the magazine" under events on R&I's website. Pretty cool.  She is also willing to possibly put a picture with in the "scenes" section of the next Mag.  Also cool.  We are up to about $16,000.00 so far and I may (emphasis on may) have lined up an RV. Also looks like I'll have links to bday challenge on and



Enzo Releases New Bouldering Guide

Bd challenge's Bob Banks has released his long awaited guidebook to the bouldering areas in and around Santa Barbara, fittingly called Ocean's 11. I suggest you buy it, and read it.

Professor Arthur Ayers, PhD, author of The Truth and Logic Of Urns and the underground classic, Urn Of Death


Doniel and Traci Get Married

Congratulations to bd challenge alumnus Doniel Drazin and Traci Marx. They tied the knot this weekend in Florida. Rumor has it they moved the wedding back east to avoid some sadistic type of wedding challenge that may have occurred had they stuck to their original west coast ceremony.


Neuman Still Going Full Force

Hi Steve,

Lots of stuff going on. I've raised close to $13,000 so far for the challenge, thanks in large part to Alison Patricelli and Tom Norrdin, who donated $10,000 through a family foundation. I can give you more details on that as they arrive. More letters have just been sent out to a bunch of climbing companies and others. Things are looking good and I'm starting to get in a really good training rythym.

Scott G. from Zealot is helping out a ton, getting me alot of guides for some different areas and involving the New England Bouldering guys. He is also going to be my personal guide to the gunks. I'll keep you posted.


Winter 2003

On Vacation has taken a break in order to go to war with Iraq. We should be back shortly, with plenty of oil.

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