Our goal here at Far West Capital is to unleash potential – whether the potential is found within others or within ourselves, we are always trying to achieve the next level of greatness. A perfect example of a Far West Capital team member unleashing potential is executive vice president Jason Lippman. An adrenaline junkie who loves to push himself to extremes, Jason not only ran one of the world’s toughest ultramarathons, but completely crushed it.
Imagine running 120 miles through the mountainous wilderness in less than two days. To most, this sounds almost impossible; but to Jason, it was a challenge that he eagerly accepted. Just over 35 hours, 120 miles, a torrential storm, numerous blisters and an elevation gain of 8673 meters (just short of Mount Everest) later, Jason crossed the Fat Dog 120 finish line and proved to all of us, and himself, just how much of a true badass he is.
Jason, your pure grit and determination are unstoppable – congratulations on this incredible feat! We’re not quite sure how you’ll top this, but you sure are an inspiration for us to unleash our own potential.
Here is a Q & A with the man himself. Of course he did not answer the last question of what’s next for him…. he will just keep us in suspense, anticipating his next move.
Why do this race?
I am not a big racer – I only do one per year and pace other runners/racers 3-4 times during the year. Since I am only doing one, it has to be big – should be close to a once in a lifetime experience or it is not worth doing. This race is extremely remote, with 120 miles an incredible 29k amount of climbing, which makes it a huge challenge. I had never been to Canada so it is great to see new places and experience new cultures, as part of my racing and my crew loves these trips and look forward to them all year.
What was the hardest part of the race?
Mental, no question. That is not to say you don¹t have to have the physical side – you have to have done the work and the training to even have a chance – but assuming you have done the training, the rest is all mental. Controlling your emotions is probably the biggest aspect – you can’t get too high on how you are doing and you can’t get too low. If you are in a bad spot, you have to know that it almost always never gets worse. You have to believe that no matter what, you are going to finish, so not matter what happens and what issues you have, you just keep moving forward. You don’t have to do anything special, which is the great thing about it. It is a culmination of a ton of really easy things – one foot in front of the other – that ends up being a something special. That is why I like ultras so much – you don’t have to be 7-ft tall or have a naturally gifted golf swing. Literally, anyone can do this. That is also what makes it so hard. It is death by a thousand paper cuts.
What was the best part of the race?
The moment. There is a moment in every race that you feel like you can’t do it anymore and there is no way you are going to finish. If you can get through that, you get to the moment. The moment can be defined by the instant you realize you were put to the test and you answered the call and you are going to do it – it’s not at the finish, it is during the race and you make the shift. That moment is what scares me the most – what if I can’t answer the call? What if I am not the man I think I am? That is why I race. There is also nothing better than doing it for your team – your crew that has sacrificed their time and unselfishly worked for you so that you could accomplish this goal. There’s nothing better than getting the “win” for them and the team getting a success story. I can¹t imagine anything worse than crewing for a runner who fails – that is the real reason I have never DNFed a race (DNF – did not finish).
What drives you to be an ultramarathoner?
I need the physical challenge and the motivation to train and stay healthy throughout the year so I can push myself to new levels of performance. The physical demands and challenges strip off the “false-self” and allows me to really understand who I am. You can’t hide or distract yourself from yourself for 100 miles.
What is the number one quality needed to achieve something this epic?
Commitment. You have to be committed to your goal to focus on the daily activities required for achievement. It is really simple and really hard at the same time. This is a complete correlation to success in business.
What got you started running?
After playing soccer in college, I realized I like the training for collegiate soccer as much as the competition. I needed to find something that gave me a reason to train so I started running.
Who is your number one inspiration? And why?
Nando Parrado has changed my life. He was the unlikely hero in the 1972 crash in the Andes – when he was truly put to the test, he answered the call and showed what kind of man he was. I challenge myself daily at work, at business, and with my family to be the kind of man I want to be and hope that I answer that call.
How does this apply to your business life?
If you focus on the daily activities and behaviors, the results will come. Your willingness to do whatever it takes to be successful is key. And remember, no matter what happens, you should always strive to do better, do more, learn more and help others on their journeys to live up to their capabilities.
What advice would you give a beginner runner who wants to be an ultramarathoner?
Don’t overthink it – it’s not that complicated. Pick a race, train and just go do it. Build from there. No one starts with running 100 miles – start with a 10k or marathon or 50 miles and build from there. Figure out how it can have the least amount of impact on your current lifestyle – if you let it take over your life, you won’t be doing it very long.