Sep 012011

At the transition zone, I jumped off my bike and my legs, still used to moving from the pedals got me started on my run.  I have never immediately started running after getting off the bike, but it was an interesting feeling.  My legs seemed to move as if I was still pedalling.  I was definitely running faster than my legs wanted to, but they were used to that motion and continued to move quickly despite me trying to slow them down.

I got tired quickly on the run and despite my goal always being to run the whole way, I had to walk.  Briefly, I walked in order to catch my breath which was heavy from the swim, the bike, and the breakfast burrito I had eaten earlier that morning.  I caught my breath fairly quickly and was able to do sporadic bursts of runs in between my walks.

The run was hillier than the bike ride was.  Steep elevation changes occurred throughout the run, making it difficult to catch my breath and run the entire course.  I ran through the train station and onto the road which would lead me to the hospital my brother was staying at. 

I wanted to run by the hospital and pound on his window, letting him know that I had ran right past him, but it was out of the way and I couldn’t be certain that I would be pounding on the wrong window and disturbing someone who might be seriously ill.  As I ran past the hospital, my Mom was outside cheering me on. 

I pushed forward up the enourmous hill and once I reached the top, I knew I was at the home stretch.  The rest of the race was downhill and I was able to fly.  I let my legs take over and I ran as fast as I could down the final straightaway when I heard my name through the speakers, announcing everyone of my presence.

My Dad and sister were there waiting for me at the finish line.  The race was complete.  But somehow it felt incomplete.  The other Running Brother was not there.  It has always been a great feeling for me to cheer my brother on after I have beaten him and I was looking forward to doing it again.  But, he was in the hospital.

After the race, we quickly gathered our things and went to visit our brother at the hospital.  I was eager to tell him everything I had done and everything he had missed out on.


Aug 292011

Dripping wet, I jogged to the transition zone and planted myself next to my bike.  I quickly dried off my feet with a towel, put on my socks and shoes, and strapped on my helmet. 

I took my Cannondale bicycle and headed for the starting station of the bike ride and away I went. 

My breathing was heavy and my heart was racing.  The beginning of the bike ride was going smoothly, I was continually passing bicyclists through the streets of San Luis Obispo.  Very quickly, I found myself on Orcutt Road and knew I was going to be in trouble.  Orcutt Road is not flat.  The road continually goes up and down for miles with steep up and down slopes. 

By this time, I have realized that the bike is probably the weekest part of the triathlon for me and these steep hills were going to be a problem. 

On mile 3, I approached this huge hill and thought I was going to have to get off my bike to walk it up the hill.  I resisted the urge and continued to peddle strongly until I made it to the top and coasted down the hill.   For 15 miles it was a long bike ride going up and down hills and I was getting passed by many bike riders, but I think all in all I passed just as many bike riders as who had passed me. 

Nothing made me happier than to reach the transition zone.  My legs were tired from pedalling and I was starting to think eating a breakfast burrito before the race was not the best idea.

Aug 232011

Just one day before my brother had surgery to get his appendix removed.  And today was the San Luis Obispo Triathlon.  I was without my other half . . .

It was a beautiful day in San Luis Obispo and I headed to the race early to check in.  The check in was easy and I was able to inform the race officials my brother had his appendix removed and would not be able to enter the race.  We asked if a refund was possible and they kind of shrugged me off.  I thought having an appendix removed was a bigger deal than they seemed to think it was.

My sister and I went for breakfast after I checked in to the race to this nice little Mexican restaurant and I ordered a breakfast burrito.  My Dad suggested I order something light for the race and when I ordered the breakfast burrito my sister reminded me of my Dad’s advice. 

I explained to her that running is a lot like golf.  I used to be a really good golfer and when I was playing golf every day, I needed to maintain my focus through the entire round and practice between rounds.  Since I can not play golf every day anymore, I am not as good as I used to be.  Now, when I go out and play golf, I do it for fun.  I don’t concentrate or focus on my game, I just go out, hit shots, hang out with friends and have a good time.  Running is a lot like golf, sometimes you do it competitively and sometimes you do it for fun. 

Today, since I knew I wasn’t in peak physical shape, it was going to be for fun. 

The breakfast burrito tasted great!

I drove to the hospital my brother was staying at, just two blocks from the check-in area. 

Were my eyes seeing what I thought they were seeing???

They were!  The racers in the SLO Triathlon were running right past the hospital my brother was staying at.  What are the odds, I thought to myself. 

I went in to visit my brother who was eager to be released from the hospital, but it didn’t look likely that he would be able to.  The doctor told him he had to pee on his own in order to be released.  He could not. 

We talked strategy about the race and I headed for the check-in area, ready for my race to begin.


Aug 182011

We left the 60th Anniversary celebration of the California Scholastic Press Association where my Dad had just received one of the highest honors . . . he had been inducted into the CSPA Hall of Fame.

We were headed for the hospital.  My brother was headed for surgery.

It was discovered that my brother had appendicitis . . . fortunately, we had caught it early. 

At the hospital, we met the doctor who seemed competent and he told us Rocky would be undergoing a surgery to remove his appendix.  We were assured things would go well. 

As he headed into surgery I leaned in and whispered in his ear, “Just in case . . . I love you.”

Aug 162011

Today was the 60th Anniversary of the California Scholastic Press Association Workshop – a two-week journalism workshop held at California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo every Summer. 

People were coming from all across the country to celebrate the event. 

My Dad has run the workshop for the past 30 years and today was a big day for our family.  My brother, sister and I owe a lot to the CSPA Workshop.  After all, that’s where my parents met.  Every member of our family had attended the workshop.  

It was a big deal. 

Rocky had thrown up all night long the day before and I was worried.  He tried to carry on as if things were normal in the morning, but I could tell he was hurting.  After a family discussion, we decided it would be best to take Rocky to the hospital. 

The decision was made to take him to the hospital at almost the exact same time the 60th Anniversay of the CSPA Workshop. 

Although Rocky was hurting, his pain didn’t seem terminal so my Father, sister and I made our way to the celebration.  We met and talked with people who came from all across the United States to celebrate the Anniversary with us.  But the whole time, our thoughts were with our brother. 

The highlight of the presentation was when my father, along with other instructors and board members from the workshop received the highest honor the workshop bestows upon those who are associated with it.  He had made the California Scholastic Press Association’s Hall of Fame.  When his name was announced, I saw him getting off of his cell phone and he was emotional. 

He graciously accepted the award and the festivities carried on.  Minutes later, after the award ceremony had commenced.  My father informed me about the content of his cell phone conversation.

Literally one minute before my Father had received one of the biggest awards of his life, he got another piece of news . . .

Rocky needed surgery . . . immediately.

Aug 142011

On the rock-hard mattress in a Lassen Hall dorm room at California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo my brother woke me up.

He stumbled to the bathroom.

“Are you ok?” I asked.

“I don’t feel so good,” he said. 

And then it came . . . this grotesque vomitting noise from the bathroom . . . the dry heaves made me nautious.  I went to check on my brother.  He was shaking violently.  This was not good.

Earlier that day, my Mom, sister, brother and I had packed our bags and were headed for San Luis Obispo.  We have been to San Luis Obispo every Summer for as long as I could remember.  My Dad runs a two-week journalism workshop for High School students who live all across the United States, the California Scholastic Press Association workshop.  

The CSPA Workshop has been conducted at the Cal Poly campus every Summer.  And this Summer was its 60th Anniversary.  My Dad has been running the workshop for the past 30 years.  He attended the workshop himself when he was in High School.  

He came back every Summer since then, first as a counselor, then an instructor, then as the man in charge. 

It was as a counselor that he met my mother.

Eleven or so years later, I was born and three years after I popped out the Running Brothers were complete.

My Mom grew up in San Luis Obispo and although she moved down south for college and eventually settled in Chino Hills, she still loved making her way back to her home town.  As kids, we would stay for two weeks at my Grandmother’s House.  My Grandma passed away roughly a decade ago, but my Aunt and Uncle still live in the city. 

Needless to say, The Running Brothers have a strong connection with San Luis Obispo . . . (If you’re a real Running Brother hero, then you’d know that this is where our Running Brother’s journey began)

The trip from Chino Hills to San Luis Obispo was as smooth as could be.  Although, afterwards, my brother complained that I talked way too much and that I didn’t listen to anything he said . . . but that’s besides the point. 

We reached our destination after 9 PM and quickly headed to bed. 

And that’s when I knew that something was wrong with my brother.  Watching him shiver while dry-heaving into the toilet at the dorms at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo scared me.  He said he was fine, but deep down, I knew that he wasn’t.  I was hoping that it was something that would go away by the morning.  Eventually, Rocky made his way to bed and with two days until our Triathlon in San Luis Obispo, I feared that he wouldn’t make it.

Aug 112011

I had the best of intentions.  I set my goal 30 days before the San Luis Obispo Triathlon to run 30 Sprint Triathlons in 30 days to prepare myself for the event. 

I did it twice.

If you read my previous post, you’ll understand why I only was able to do it twice.  A great business opportunity got in the way of my traning.  My two Sprint Triathlons were completed in the gym and I did both of them in 1 hour and 40 minutes approximately three weeks before the SLO Triathlon. 

I was not in peak shape, and as far as I knew, my brother hadn’t done any training either.  The San Luis Obispo Triathlon was going to be interesting . . . to say the least.

Aug 092011

It’s been almost a month since my last post which is utterly amazing, considering that I had been writing nearly a post a day since the beginning of the year.  Many of you have been fortunate enough to see Rocky’s posts and his adventures in San Luis Obispo. 

In the upcoming weeks, I hope to fill you in on my side of the story and share with you what I have been up to the past month.  It has been a wild ride and I am extremely optimistic about what the future has in store for me and The Running Brothers.

My posts have dissipated because my sister and I recently started our own social media company, appropriately titled Welborn Social Media.  Our company began as a reslut of the countless hours that my sister and I had put into The Tutoring Solution, a tutoring company I own in Chino Hills and The Running Brothers.  Many local businesses really liked what we were doing with our Facebook and Twitter pages and some even requested that we work for them. 

Welborn Social Media has kept me very busy this last giving presentations to a variety of different companies and setting up Facebook, Twitter, Blog, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages for several businesses.  Currently, we are working with a Scrapbooking company, a local Golf Course, and a Computer Company. 

As a result, I have not had much time to train, but plan on getting back into it in the near future. 

If you’re interested in my tutoring company, visit The Tutoring Solution website at

If you’re interested in the work we are doing in Social Media, please visit –

Jan 182011

Stephen Colbert is right.  Bears are a huge threat to America. If America is at war with Bears the front lines are in San Luis Obispo, and the running brothers experienced this first hand.

When my brother first brought up this project, my first thought was, “what about the bears?” But I eventually accepted that we may run into a bear or two throughout our entire training program. I told myself, that risk was acceptable in comparison to the enjoyment and fullfillment we would get from this project. On our very first run through San Luis we arrived at the Mission and encountered the first Bear of our training program, a gigantic Grizzly jabbing at the water.  He wasn’t bothered by us but we kept our distance.

After surviving our first close encounter, on our very first run, we continued on our run. Fully satisified by the laws of statistics  that we would not encounter another deadly creature we continued our run along the stream that runs by the San Luis Mission and through downtown.

I am leading the way,  on this dark gloomy rainy night at about 11:00 pm we emerge from behind a building and….. BEAR!!!! It was croached in an attack position waiting for anyone to come out from behind the building only a few feet away. Startled I jump away from the bear, Zeb seeing me follows in my cat like evasion tactics but we quickly are frozen in our tracks.

After further investigation we confirm that this bear is as harmless as the bear at the Mission. An obviously hilarous jokster placed this bear in this particular location to startle people like us. IT WORKED.

So one day into our training and we have already encountered my full anticpation of bears for our entire training program. Unbelievable. We will keep you abreast of any future close calls with bears.

Dec 272010

Our run in San Luis Obispo took us by a lot of childhood memories and historic landmarks. One relatively forgoten story about San Luis Obispo that I never really got to experience was the tragic football team memorial for the 1960 football team. On my last visit I drove by an odd area with a large bronze bucking mustang and several pillars surrounding it.  

Since my last visit I did some research and found out, the odd looking structure was a memorial for members of the Cal Poly Football team that was killed in a plane crash in the 1960. A very interesting story that seems to be untold.

We ran through the campus on the rainy night and wievered our way through the new science building asking for directions to the football stadium. As we ran through puddles, ducked under trees and squeezed our way between a building and a chain link fence, all by moon light in the midst of the biggest rain storm of the year the memorial appear in front of us. Only 50 yards away the beaming lights, each signifying a Cal Poly Student, Coach or Staffer, who past away in that tragic event.

The atmosphere was very surreal for us. In the middle of the night we were the only people insite and were able to read each of the memorials on each podium, describing each player/coach. In a moment like that, you can’t help but think, what could those men been able to accomplish if they were given the chance, or what if something , out of control, affected your life negatively in some way.

As it relates to our goal, running a marathon seems small but it is part of life style that we all need to cherish: having dreams,  setting goals and accomplishing those dreams.