Since this is my first post I should tell you a little bit about what makes me tick:
My name is Brooks Williams and I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when I was hospitalized at 5 1/2 months old. Due to the digestive problems associated with the disease I weighed 9lbs at the time, which meant I had only gained 2lbs since birth. Once released from this initial hospitalization, I had relatively good health through my teen years. Unfortunately, CF (which is primarily a respiratory disease) typically causes a severe irreparable downturn in your pulmonary health by your late teens or early 20's. Personally, I had one serious bout with pneumonia when I was 21; my lung function was down to 40% and I was coughing up lots of blood before I finally made it to the hospital. After I was released, I was on oxygen all the time when not at work, and was told that due to the scarring which likely occurred in my lungs, that I might never make a full recovery.
I had way too much living to do still, so that concept didn't work for me!
This was the reality check I needed to start taking my disease more seriously. I became aware of how quickly my health could take an irreparable turn, and this fear is what made me start running regularly. I acredit running and exercise for my full respiratory recovery, and since 2006 I have been able to competed in dozens of races including numerous marathons and ultramarathons.
As I've become stronger, and healthier, my mindset and goals have also evolved: I've transitioned from just wanting to be a finisher at these long distance races, to feeling like there's no reason I can't actually be competitive at them and potentially even begin winning events! Recently, I've been blessed to see the results of that determination.
Some people 'Live to Run', but I truly 'Run to Live'!
Some of my racing accomplishments:
- I have completed 18 marathons and 26 ultra marathons (including the Leadville 100) since September, 2007.
- My marathon PR is 2:49.37 (2011 Boston Marathon).
- My 50 mile ultra marathon PR is 6:58.55 (2011 Bear Chase, Lakewood, CO)
- My 100 mile ultra marathon PR is 14:58.37 (2012 Rocky Raccoon 100, Huntsville, TX)
- Race victories:
- 2010 Blue Canyon Trail Race (50 Miles)
- 2011 Brew to Brew (44 Miles)
Starting in late 2012, my health took an unexpected turn downward, surprisingly not due to CF, but rather Crohn's Disease. The disease had progressed in severity prior to being diagnosed, and thus I required a partial colectomy in November 2013 to remove the damages sections of my colon and small intestines. Since then, the rebuilding has begun, and the adventures should continue from here forth!