In this Thanksgiving day episode of Running Times with Gagz, Todd Aydelotte joins Gagz in the studio to talk about The Warriors 50K, the Poe Ultrarun, and the run he has yet to complete – the Howl ultra run. They also discuss Todd’s work with the Bowery Mission, where he will be volunteering with his family today and for whom he ran his Hallway Marathon, raising around $4,000 to help the Bowery Mission continue feeding the homeless in New York City.
This episode was sponsored by City Running Tours.
Running Through History Reverently, with Todd Aydelotte
In this Thanksgiving day episode of Running Times with Gagz, Todd Aydelotte joins Gagz in the studio to talk about The Warriors 50K, the Poe Ultrarun, and the run he has yet to complete – the Howl ultra run. They also discuss Todd’s work with the Bowery Mission, where he will be volunteering with his family today and for whom he ran his Hallway Marathon, raising around $4,000 to help the Bowery Mission continue feeding the homeless in New York City.
This episode was sponsored by City Running Tours.
Gagz: [00:00:00] If you’re like me, it’s obsessive. You lace up your shoes, put one foot in front of the other and teach yourself to push through at all costs. I’m on a journey, a journey to find what makes me ti- no us. What makes all of us tick? Tune in turn on, drop out and run.
I’m Gagz. And this is Running Times.
All right, everybody. Here we go. We are live Happy Thanksgiving first and foremost to everyone out there. Happy Thanksgiving to all the, to all the listeners, to all the, a team back home, back in the studio, recording this Happy Thanksgiving. Our guest today is none other than Todd Aydelotte. I am delighted to have this gentlemen in studio today.
Everybody you’ve met this season incorporates running into their life for. Different reasons. This gentleman, Todd, what he does with running fascinates me. So strap in everybody. You’re getting ready to meet the world’s only historical ultra runner. Todd.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:01:40] Thanks so much for having me Gagz. So psyched to be here.
Gagz: [00:01:43] Welcome to the studio. The one thing I want to say to everybody is you need to check out Todd’s Instagram before we go any further. And I shouldn’t say this because I want everyone to listen to the podcast. Todd’s Instagram, T O D D A Y D E L O T T E. That’s it. He is the man.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:02:07] That’s where I track all the historical ultra running that I do.
And I’ve been tracking it there for, I guess the better part of three years now,.
Gagz: [00:02:14] Right on. And you are a man who is fascinated by history in the 1970s, which we are going to cover in depth today, before we get started in any of that. One of the reasons why I brought you in the studio today was to discuss your run, The Warriors 50 K.
Todd you were going to see me there. Tell the folks at home a little bit about The Warriors 50 K.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:02:37] Sure. It’s so this is a real interesting run in that it’s an experiential run that actually touches on some really interesting New York city history. So Walter Hill directed the iconic cult film, The Warriors.
And, uh, the original, the film was shot entirely in 1978 on the mean streets of New York. It is really shot on the streets of the city at a time of urban collapse. When the city’s economy had plunged, when the city had laid off thousands of police officers, when there were fires, In the city, every, almost every single night spread around the city.
It was pure chaos, Billy Martin and the Yankees just go, all that kind of stuff was all happening in the midst of this. There were literally. Hundreds and hundreds of violent youth street gangs in New York city. So The Warriors played off that it was actually also playing off an original book by Anabasis eons ago, but it really traces a gang, a fictional gang as they flee through the streets of New York city.
Gagz: [00:03:47] And if I’m not mistaken because you’re. English lit major as am I, that story comes from the Greek story.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:03:54] Yeah. Xenaphon’s Anabasis.
Gagz: [00:03:57] Yes. Yes. And that’s about the mercenaries fighting their way home after being stranded – trapped in Persia. Right, exactly. Right, right. Yeah. And you see this because in this film, that street gang, the, a Warriors, you know, there.
They’re framed for a murder, which they didn’t commit. And now they have to run the dangerous streets of New York City all the way back to their home turf down in Coney Island.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:04:17] And they have to sit, they have to run yeah. All the way from a fictional conclave setting, which was in Van Cortland Park, fictionally, and then they fleeted their home turf and Coney Island.
And for those who haven’t seen the movies. See the movie, it’s an extraordinary film. Uh, I’m addicted to it. I’ve seen it about a hundred times, I think. But what happened is I got this idea about three years ago, just on my own to try and recreate the route and run it by myself over the course of a night.
So I left at like midnight from the middle of the woods and Van Cortland Park in the Bronx. And then I ran all the way to Coney. And I was like on social about this and sharing it. And then all these ultra runners saw it and started sharing it. And then Runner’s World contacts me. And then they ended up doing a big story about what I’m trying to do with historical ultra running.
Gagz: [00:05:09] I think how I came in contact with you was when Ultrarunning Magazine had featured you. 2019.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:05:17] That was also after The Warriors.
Gagz: [00:05:20] Yeah. So that was after your second time?
Todd Aydelotte: [00:05:21] After the second one, because on the second one, all of a sudden it became a thing. Yeah. And all these runners were like, I’m doing it with you this year.
And so, you know, we’ve kind of 30 runners, you know, then COVID, you know, came in and we w we ended up doing it this year. Uh, which was amazing.
Gagz: [00:05:38] Um, and I think part of the reason why you can get away doing that is because your run starts at one o’clock in the morning at the same park where Cyrus holds his famous speech, you know, can you count, can you count if you, if you can count, suckas!
Todd Aydelotte: [00:05:53] All that and stuff. Yeah. And so, yeah. You know, it was just Eddie Geida and Michael Schwartz were two of the winners this week, this year.
Gagz: [00:06:03] For those at home, you may wink, wink, see Eddie again, this season on the finale possibly. And if he does come in the studio, we will discuss The Warriors 50 K.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:06:12] Yeah, absolutely. And as one of our winners this year, these guys, the three who won.
Gagz: [00:06:18] Listen to this.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:06:19] Get the distinct, uh, honor, they got Warriors vests authentic and customized, but this year we’re going to give the Warrior’s winners- they’re being placed on a Warrior’s elite team. Oh man. And this year they’re given a 10 minute headstart and then we’re going to chase them through the streets of Newark, just like the film.
Gagz: [00:06:38] And Eddie is part of the warrior.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:06:39] Elite team. Yeah. So he’s going to be chased. I think it’s going to be terrifying.
Gagz: [00:06:44] Eddie. If you’re listening to this, you better eat your Wheaties son.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:06:48] Yeah. He’s in really good shape. He’s going to be hard that you are the guy. I have pegged to catch him.
Gagz: [00:06:55] We’ll see, definitely going to give it my best.
Definitely gonna give it my best. And you know what I found out when by following your Instagram account, how does that, while that movie was filmed, the crew had to pay off local street gangs. Is that correct?
Todd Aydelotte: [00:07:10] It was crazy. I mean, when you really hear the film was under attack.
Gagz: [00:07:15] Right. And not only were they under attack.
When the movie came out in theaters, this is something that I had no idea about. They had to pull all the promotional posters because gangs were going to these-
Todd Aydelotte: [00:07:26] Riots were breaking out. A kid was shot and killed. There was a kid who was killed after a show or at a show I think up in Boston and then a separate incident out in California.
It was a big deal, uh, because gangs were showing up to the theaters. In colors, you know, so they’d be sitting on one side and their opposing gang would be on the other side,
Gagz: [00:07:46] like the rogues and the Lizzy or the, they were all there a reason, the Turnbull, right.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:07:52] That’s right. So, yeah, but before this run, I, I tracked, you know, over several weeks I researched the history of the New York city street gangs and I, and I ran to their home turf for many of the violent gangs, uh, in the weeks before the round.
And to really bring some of the history to life.
Gagz: [00:08:10] And know what else I was fascinated by on your, on your Instagram page too, was that while you were researching The Warriors, you learned about, you know, you’re learning about the prevalence of the, of the gangs and whatnot, but. You told this story about the Ghetto Brothers and the story of Cornell “Black Benjie” Ben.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:08:26] Yeah.
Gagz: [00:08:27] Would you mind sharing that for our listeners?
Todd Aydelotte: [00:08:28] Again, there’s fascinating historical tidbits in and around The Warriors film right around the same time late. Sixties, early seventies, this gang life was grazing in New York city. There was one particular gang called the Ghetto Brothers, which was not like the other gangs.
And there were kind of an antecedent to contemporary hip hop. There were some great musicians. The original Ghetto Brothers album is an extremely rare cut. It’s coveted by collectors, but you can find it on digital at any rate. The Ghetto Brothers were. More or less peace abiding gang. They really sought to quell tensions amongst many rival gangs, like the Savage skulls and et cetera, up in the Bronx.
And a black Benji was a member of the Ghetto Brothers and he was murdered while he was trying to broker a peace. And then this caused a huge crisis. They had always been at war the gangs, but this brought the prospects for a very, very violent war between the gangs. And this was at a time. When nearly 3000 people a year were dying murder in New York city, you know, case in point we’re at about four to 500 now.
So that to give you a frame of reference. Yeah. So very violent, but black, then she was killed. And rather than this huge, violent upbringing, they, they convened a meeting of the gang. It’s called the ho Ave peace meeting up in the gymnasium in the Bronx. And you can see parts of that recreated in the conclave.
I’ve seen at the very beginning, you know, not a perfect recreation, but the idea of gangs, uniting, and kind of standing together, you could see that rippling through that part of the film.
Gagz: [00:10:06] And what happened to Black Benjie?
Todd Aydelotte: [00:10:09] Black Benji died, but in his name, the Hoe Avenue Peace Meeting was a complete success.
There were gangs actually up on the buildings with guns, like covering doors. All the police were involved. There was a really. Sketchy situation, but they had the meeting there’s archival photos, some on my Instagram page about the meeting as well, but it was a big success and they, they lowered the tensions in that area.
So it was a big, it was a really interesting concept to the idea of. Gangs at war policing themselves and coming, coming to town.
Gagz: [00:10:43] Very nice. That’s yeah, that’s a super cool. Yeah, it is. I led the show off by saying that it’s Thanksgiving and you’re going to be volunteering this Thanksgiving at the Bowery mission.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:10:53] That’s right. With my wife and son.
Gagz: [00:10:55] Which we will talk about later on, but you know, w w when I look at your Instagram page, okay. And the Warrior’s run was what brought you to my attention. I started to see, wow, like this dude, he does his homework and he’s very into history into the history of, of this. And when I got deeper into your page, one of the things that.
It became so clear to me was you have this uncanny sense of running reverently through history. Can you speak a little bit about that?
Todd Aydelotte: [00:11:32] Yeah, it’s um, what’s a great question. It’s really important to me to run reverently. Yeah. I track when I run, when I’m historical ultra running, you know, and I’ll take on distances, you know, anywhere from 20 miles to 70, 80, 90 miles.
When I do these. Things. And very often I’m visiting places where really significant events have happened. Murders have happened. People have died, right. Major historical events, and you really have to enter these places in a very sacred fashion, a place where someone has died might be historically interesting to many of us.
And maybe we just want to take a picture of it or something for our Instagram. Well, that’s really not an issue. Propriate way all of these places where people have died and where there are families and those left behind that those are sacred spaces. So I’m keenly aware of this. And you know, when I take on these runs, especially if I’m going from running into history, that’s very sensitive.
I always do. So reverently, you know, in the run. That I think we’d mentioned before slavery in New York, which I’ll be running again this year and the first week of February as a group room with a bunch of people. But, uh, that’s a really good example. You know, that history in New York of slavery, you know, in 1740 in New York city, we had 40% of new Yorkers actually had us.
Slave living in their home 40%. It’s a shocking thing. Right? We new Yorkers like to think that we’re w that wasn’t us, that was down South, not so New York city was an epicenter of slavery. And some of the worst incidents in the history of slavery happened in New York city. So this isn’t my history.
That’s very sensitive, right? I’m a 52 year old white guy running 45 miles into very sensitive. Very important black history. Right? So for that particular run, because of the sensitivity, I actually tracked down a pastor in the Sandy ground, free black community in Staten Island. And I met with her and then I had her at the beginning of the run, I think at like seven 30, eight in the morning, she.
Put me down on my knees amongst, um, the tombstones of some of the first free blacks ever in the New York city area. And I had her lay our hands on me and pray, and that was just to enter this run in the right kind of spirit. And that’s really important because if you’re showing up to murder sites to take tourists pictures for your Instagram account, right.
You’re not understanding what’s happening there.
No, not at all. Not at all. And
so, yeah, so this is just something I’m, it’s a constant obsession with me, Todd.
Gagz: [00:14:24] So let me ask you a question. Now I referenced earlier about running reverently through history. As you immerse yourself in this, my question for you.
And this is because you, you seem to connect on a metaphorical level with your subjects. And I bring up the, the reference part. What led you to trace the, not the son of Sam, the run of Sam, David Berkowitz, as it’s, it’s pretty heavy. It’s a pretty heavy subject.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:14:52] It’s the heaviest around. I do Sam. I’ve done it twice alone.
And this year on July 31st, I’ll be taking a group and I’ll be announcing that soon. Okay. It’s a spectacular run. It is intense. I mean, it’s, it truly is the most intense thing I do. And I prepare for it for months like spiritually. So I’ll tell you about it. So why the run of Sam? Well, first of all, Berkowitz’s 1976 through 77 crime scene.
Crime spree was the largest single police use investigation in New York city history, over 300 detectives on the case. Wow. It was an extraordinary time in the city to city was.
Gagz: [00:15:30] As we mentioned earlier
Todd Aydelotte: [00:15:31] fires every night and Berkowitz in fact was a Firebug and lighting. Thousands of fires across New York city.
So it was murders and crimes. That was only part of the things he was tied up. And then he was in a satanic cult as well. They know all this now. Wow. So the city is disco. I mean the seventies, crime, uh, street gangs, I mean in New York city, it’s a window into the most interesting years. Well, some of the most interesting years in the city of history, number one, number two, the run itself starts up at Berkowitz’s home up on pine street, and it takes you to where the dog whose name was Harvey.
Who was the son of Sam lived in and starts kind of at the epicenter of where Berkowitz lived and then takes you to all eight crime scenes.
Gagz: [00:16:22] And on your Instagram, you were at the apartment door, apartment door, 5g.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:16:26] Yeah,
Gagz: [00:16:27] you’re at the front door.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:16:28] Yeah, well, it’s not up as pine street address to his other runs training for this.
I remember it was childhood homes and yes, a guy got me into his building. Um, and I I’ve been in his other residences too, and I’m not going to discuss that on,
Gagz: [00:16:44] on the air. And I was, I
Todd Aydelotte: [00:16:46] pretty sure it was illegal.
Gagz: [00:16:47] There is a picture of the view that Berkowitz had of Sam Carr’s
Todd Aydelotte: [00:16:52] home right out his window.
Gagz: [00:16:55] See, I’m not going to say that. Well, let’s just say you can understand why the dog was barking would be annoying.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:17:05] So, so here’s the story of what happened on that? The more I started researching the crime and I have watched every movie I’ve seen every documentary, I’ve read numerous books. I really know a huge amount about this and what really started.
Digging into me is the fact that these victims were swallowed up in the crime. And then if you read every single year, these poor victims are dragged out in the press at the anniversaries of the shootings every single year. And they have to tell these stories. And if you look at victims, it’s four years later and their lives have been destroyed by this and the echo of these assaults, these crimes.
Ripples. And that this is very interesting stuff to me, like the impact of crime in history over ages. This is a very intense run because you are tracing demonic subject matter. If you know about the crimes and you read the letters that were left at crime scenes. These are fully demonic crimes and I’m a very committed Catholic.
I really believe in these things and I handle them extremely seriously. So when you take, when you run to a crime scenes in a single night where. Six people were murdered and by really a demonic force of sorts, it’s very scary. And it’s no different than playing with a way to board. You can’t run into these spaces, Willy nilly and be in these places over an arc of a night.
I believe without serious preparation, I was in church. I was in mass every single day. Literally for the month leading up to the last one and I studied all I could, I’m in contact with the victims, by the way, I’m in contact with Carl Denaro. So I’ve, I’ve reached out to the victims to try and understand their lives, to the best extent possible.
Gagz: [00:19:00] And you know, this, this, this needs to be clear, you know, the, the, the point of this run was never to glorify Berkowitz, but to kind of fall into this deep.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:19:09] Meditative. Right. Right. And to in fact contemplate how crime are euphoria of crime, our culture. Yeah. How it swallows people
Gagz: [00:19:20] and how it impacts the innocence, the nature of good and evil, everything beyond that.
And. You know, you, you talk about the specter Berkowitz blocking out the light of these victims and these victims, man. Like, I didn’t realize this, but you’re just saying every single victim was struck down and you know, some of life’s most special moments, you know, you know, when you’re falling in love for the first time or you’re, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re making a friendship and, and here comes this dude sneak up on a side.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:19:47] Suits you in the head. I mean, it’s unbelievable. And then everyone left behind the family members ruined. I mean, just years of aching, it
Gagz: [00:19:55] was so sensational because he’s mailing letters to the, to the press. And this is something that we see in movies and TV shows nowadays. But back then, this wasn’t happening.
This was pretty new.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:20:06] It was just this huge, uh, attention around the case. And then of course, he’s sending the letters to Breslin. They’re terrifying. They’re about the devil there’s this metaphors of evil was Sam and this cosmic universe. It’s all, it’s terrifying stuff. It’s so, so I really prepared and I attach a crucifix to the back of my running pack and then I went and then I was, I would say I was about it’s about a 65 mile round.
So I was. About 40 miles into the run this year. And I’ve been to like six murder sites at this point. And I started this thing in my head that was just spontaneous. And that is, I, um, started on a running mantra and I started chanting the names of all the victims that were killed in a carousel. And so as I was running, I would time this mantra, their names to my footfalls.
And as I said, their name, I would say. I see them in my, sorry, I truthfully held this for like 40 to 50 miles, but between 40 and 50 miles, and I ended up having this probably the biggest moment I’ve had in all of historical to running. And there are moments that you and anyone listening to this podcast have had as an ultra runner.
And that is. At around 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 miles things happen in the mind then, right. You can only get to if you’re like a Buddhist monk and you’re in three days of meditation or you can run 50 miles. So you can get a shortcut to that same place if you run 50 miles. And so I entered the shortcut. But I was chanting these names and over the course of these 10 miles, these things happened in my body.
And number one, I felt an unbelievable feeling of love. It was incredible. I’m on this demonic run and I feel completely drenched in love. It was like, Honestly, it was you fork. It was orgasmic. It was at that level. And the craziest thing is it just lingered. And then it was, multi-layered like, as I was feeling this and my whole body is just, like I’m saying to myself, a multi-leveled conversation, like when you’re dreaming and that sometimes you have a conversation you’re dreaming and you’re like, Hey, Gagz, this is a really fucking
Gagz: [00:22:22] weird dream.
Isn’t it? Right.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:22:25] So I was having these feelings and all, I was having these feelings. I was commenting to myself like, Oh shit. So intense. And I felt this overwhelming feeling of love from God. And at the same time, I felt connected to the people I was chanting to. I felt they were connecting with me and it was just my feeling.
But this one in. Went on for a very long time. And then I ended up at another victims murder site and you know, like I remember just dropping down to my knees beaten, but the run itself, people don’t understand how moving a run like that can become when you’re taking on subject matter, such as death and crime over many miles.
It has an impact
Gagz: [00:23:09] that is heavy. Todd. Um, yeah, one of the things you touched on, I can certainly I’m sitting here, like, this is why I’m chasing the dragon. This is why I’m out there for that feeling, that, that, that runner’s high. That sense of euphoria, aside from the connection yet the, the run that you were doing, but that euphoric state, I love it, you know, but.
I must caution the people at home whenever you experience great highs, you’re going to experience equally great lows. So that just comes with the territory, just like life itself. Todd, how do you as an ultra runner, you know, I get out there, I run every day. I train all I’m. I’m constantly running, doing my pushup, doing my yoga, doing all those stretches and things of that nature.
How do you prepare your mind? How do you train your mind for this?
Todd Aydelotte: [00:23:58] Yeah, in a, in a way I run now I have a policy of not running until I’m consumed with. Um, that’s really what I do. I don’t, I try not to leave until I’m really at that point.
Gagz: [00:24:10] And we started this by saying that you are a man of extremes
Todd Aydelotte: [00:24:13] that’s total extreme.
Gagz: [00:24:14] So once something consumes you,
Todd Aydelotte: [00:24:17] when I’m ready to go, I go.
Gagz: [00:24:18] There’s a great company who I, who I actually work for. Um, and I’ve worked for them on a part-time basis for the last couple years, but right now, because of COVID, obviously the business has kind of shut down, uh, it’s city running tours and they have, uh, 14 cities across North America, Philadelphia and New York included.
And they’re all about like, you know, get your miles in, learn about a city. So what they do, this is so cool. Let’s say you come to Philadelphia for business or for a vacation or whatever. You’re here and you’d like to check out the U S city. So you’d contact city running tours. Of course. You’d ask for Gagz as your tour guide or there’s a guy named rich di Giacomo.
Who’s kind of like, in my opinion, he’s the Philadelphia version of Todd of you, right? And we’ll take you around and you check out different parts of the city. For example, when you come on tour with me, I will do everything in my power to show you the Rocky statue. That’s just, you know, I love the Rocky statue is finally, there was this people from Utah came out the one-time Kim and Dave Thomas from Utah, nicest people in the world.
They wanted to see the Rocky statue, but made America concert was, was happening. So instead we wound up devising this whole plan where we were, I took them through Chinatown. We went to the Liberty bell, uh, independence hall. So much fun, man, so much fun. Do you, do you know?
Todd Aydelotte: [00:25:34] Yeah, I do.
Gagz: [00:25:36] I do know that
Todd Aydelotte: [00:25:38] I’ve actually, I had a bunch of, I think their runners follow me and sent me notes a year
Gagz: [00:25:43] because what you do is it just blends so perfectly with them?
Yeah, it really does. And for the folks at home, you should definitely check them out. They’re city running tours on Instagram and instead of running tours.com great company, when things are back up and running again. You need to check them out. As I know, from a personal level, as a tour guide myself. You know, I am all about when you come to Philadelphia, I want to show you how awesome Philadelphia is.
And like, I have Rocky tattooed on my one shin. I got the Liberty bell on the other, you know, and I’m all back connecting with people and showing them how great my city is. And it’s, there’s 14 cities in North. America. That means there’s at least 14 other Gagz as you know, who are out there with the same love for their city.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:26:27] I think there’s only one Gagz. So I’m going to push back on that. Yeah.
Gagz: [00:26:30] So definitely. Yeah. Folks at home, check out city running forwards, man. They are awesome. Here’s a question for you, Todd Lee, like a little backstory on you. How did this come to be? Because. Like just, yeah,
Todd Aydelotte: [00:26:42] yeah, yeah. It all, I mean, it’s, it’s kind of wild how it all got started.
So, you know, I started running extreme distances, you know, distances longer than 26.2 on a regular basis in New York city. You know, like almost like four years ago, I guess, and you know, you can do five laps in the park, you know, you can do eight laps at the park, you know, it really will start driving you crazy after a while, becomes less interesting as you go along when you just do that.
So. During this time, when I really fell into ultra running aggressively, it was rich roll’s book. Okay. Finding old finding Audra, that was like the thing that started me and he has this like amazing paragraph in the first 10 pages about being a man of extremes and working his whole life to try and like tame that.
And then like coming to this place where he realized he didn’t need to tame it, he needed to harness it. Right. And I was like, Oh my God, God,
Gagz: [00:27:38] that passage spoke to me too. .
Todd Aydelotte: [00:27:42] My friends, that’s a nickname they have for me is the man of extremes. So that, that really got me. And then it was Tommy ribs and I just, just fell into his Instagram account and the way he runs and the way he would go through the mountains.
Gagz: [00:28:00] Tommy ribs is the one runner for me, the one ultra runner for me that I, he was probably the first one I started following. And I mean, just his. His spiritual quest. He’s so smart.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:28:12] All of it. Yeah. Just every time I listen to all of his, every podcast he was on, I became like a total junkie. I reached out to him and he was so kind, these messages are in my phone and they’re some of my most precious things.
And I would like totally fanboyed them and just told them I wanted to meet him. And he was so cool. He was like, meet me here or, you know, and
Gagz: [00:28:32] this would probably be a good place to say toddler for the folks at home. If you want to check out the hashtag ramen with ribs, Tommy’s going through a lot right now.
And Tommy’s, family’s going through a lot right now. And it is Thanksgiving. This might be a good chance to, uh, God’s army Tommy’s. Everyone
Todd Aydelotte: [00:28:47] should. It’s just a blessing on this earth. So, but I wanted to grow a beard. Like you Gagz, I can’t pull it off. And I wanted to grow a beard like Tommy and run like Tommy.
And the idea of like getting out to the mountains in New York city is just adds an additional layer of being away from my wife and son. Okay. And I’m already away a lot when I run
Gagz: [00:29:10] that to Todd, because I mean, just for me, you know, like to go out there and. If I want to drive to the trails, you know, I’m looking at I’m tacking on at least a half hour drive.
Exactly. That’s just one way. Now when I’m juggling a family, a career and everything else that life has to offer or to throw at me rather. It’s hard to take another hour, but I’m going to be out for at least an hour to be, to begin with. Totally.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:29:35] It just, it just adds to it.
Gagz: [00:29:37] And like, you know, I’m like you, you know, especially when I was starting to get into ultra running, I’m following these guys who live out West and I’m looking at the mountains and I’m looking at, at the grand Canyon, you know, we’re, we’re Tommy in the Cowboys, the Coconino Cowboys, all trained, you know, and it’s like, what do I have.
So I’m looking around and I’m like, well, I had the Ben Franklin bridge, you know, and that’s where I do my heel repeats a lot of times. But yet, you know, when I meet you, these guys and different races throughout the country, or up and down the East coast, a lot of these guys , they run in the mountains, they run in the Hills, they run the trails.
And when I tell them I do my Hill repeats on the Ben Franklin bridge, they always give me a chuckle, you know, but. Hey, you know, you have, you
Todd Aydelotte: [00:30:16] have, you gotta work with what you have. Yeah, exactly. And it just started, the whole thing started really bringing me down. I wasn’t ready to quit alternating, but I just started realizing that I was living in the wrong place for that in my mind.
Gagz: [00:30:28] correct mind,
Todd Aydelotte: [00:30:30] this thing started happening at this time. I was starting just to I’m a history buff, but I would start taking off on historical destinations on my runs and it became a lot more interesting that way. No, no, truly. I was more or less a tourist at this point. So I, what had happened Gagz is I started really doing exhaustive research for time on the places I was going to run to.
All right. And soon that really escalated.
Gagz: [00:30:59] And this was, if I’m not mistaken, if I’m going back looking at my notes here, I want to say September, 2017, somewhere around there, you did a run with your wife at the New York botanical gardens, which to this day, oddly enough is still one of your most liked photos.
And this is before the accolades and the quote unquote fame came for you, Todd. So this is still one of your most light, but I think, you know, it was right about that because then you follow it up with your mob hits. You know, and it was right about this time where I think in my opinion, as an outsider, looking in studying you, quite frankly, I think this is where things started to change for you where it was like, yo man, I got it.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:31:40] Yeah, completely. I was like laying into it at this point.
Gagz: [00:31:43] Did you call yourself a historical ultra runner then?
Todd Aydelotte: [00:31:46] No. No, not at all. I was just running to historical destinations and taking pictures pretty much.
Gagz: [00:31:50] Okay. Was there a, you know, was there a particular run. That, you know, led you to identify yourself as an ultra runner.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:31:58] Everything changed with the Poe ultrarun, which really wasn’t an ultrarun. It’s just 22
Gagz: [00:32:03] Edgar Allan Poe.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:32:05] Yeah. So as an English major, I, you know, pose a favorite of mine and I spent a good amount of time studying Poe and college. And so I really, so what did it changed on this particular run? Is I just did exhaustive research.
I read everything I could. On Edgar and, and his, his young wife who was his cousin and her name was Virginia Clem. And she was 13 years old when they married. He was older, but it’s, so I really, really spent a huge amount of time with Poe. I read a book. Whole bunch of criticism. I read a whole bunch of stories of his, I read his poetry and then I really studied what was going on between polo and his wife and all of that.
Gagz: [00:32:50] so, and at that time, Paul was living here in Philadelphia.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:32:53] So he lived six years in Philadelphia, says Phil is Phil years. And the Poe house here in
Gagz: [00:32:58] Philly, five, three, two North seventh.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:33:01] Yeah. So those were his happiest years, some of their happiest years together now. Okay. Here in Philly. However, at the very end of that time here is where she bled for the first time she was playing a piano and she started bleeding out of her nose, which is very often a sign of consumption at this time.
So it started and then they moved to New York. Okay. So they move with her mother. And so I researched and there’s a whole bunch of poet dresses in New York city. Right. So I researched all the addresses and really spent my time trying to figure out when he lived there, who he lived there with, who was around there, what was happening in his life.
And this one day I string together, all the Destin, all of his address is in New York city. And I just didn’t. So in my mind, I put them in a straight line from the Southern tip of Manhattan, all the way to the grand Concourse in the Bronx, where they have Poe cottage. It’s this actual house. It’s about a block from where the house originally sat at this time.
And his wife, Virginia dies, died in this house, but they saved it and it’s a museum and you can go in it and it’s unbelievable. And so I strung all these addresses together in one run, and it was just 22 miles, but the day. I went on the run. It was pouring rain. I mean just pouring rain of freezing cold.
It was a terrible day. The skies were black. It was very ed ground pose. Very atmospherically PO.
Gagz: [00:34:31] Okay.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:34:31] And I went on the run and I got up around to the upper West side. I think it’s 84th, but I don’t have my notes in front of me, but somewhere around Broadway and 84th. There was a farm house that stood there til right before the 19th century, as the Brennan farmhouse, it was called and pony, his wife and her mother lived there for some time.
Allegedly. He wrote the Raven there, but everyone claims he got,
Gagz: [00:34:56] has been written everywhere. Every actor, I think he’d been Philly has a clinic.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:35:01] I don’t care what city it says. He wrote the Raven here kind of standard where he really wrote the Raven probably in New York. Okay. Which, which address is hard to say?
Um, I had this moment as I was on this run, I suddenly had this and it was a due to the research I had done. And I had this huge kind of light bulb going off in a moment of clarity, hit me. All of a sudden I realized that I was on a death run. All of a sudden I realized that what was going on. In post northward migration through the city of New York is that he was actually trying to outrun death.
He was trying to get cleaner air for his wife, and this was a very common treatment that wealthy individuals would have for consumption. You would move them to some sort of sanatorium or clinic at nice names. Out in the country where you can take clean air. Now, post struggled with money, his entire life.
It’s a really tragic story about his finances and the pressure he was under, but the best they could do was just keep moving North for Virginia at any rate I’m on this run. And I just realized this, so it hits me and it’s this feeling and I’m on this run and I start realized, and then, and then I’m on a PO death run and then.
I start reflecting on my own life and it kind of, the run itself becomes this momentum, Moray, a reminder of death, and it was intensely powerful. So by the time I get to the end of the 22 miles, I’d been sitting with this feeling that now I know what’s going on here. Right, right. And how strange it is that this man, all these years later is an interloper on, in running shoes, into this strange attempt.
And then I soaking wet and I’m freezing cold and I’m in post house standing over the bed where she dies. And it’s incredibly powerful. So not only was that moment powerful, but I went home to my house and I almost couldn’t sleep. The whole run, consumed me the thoughts of my life, my death, all those things.
And that, and that is truly when I became a historical alternative, because what was different was the consumption of history and the research I’d done and it had catalyzed a dramatic response. So then I started saying, okay, Tommy can have the mountains, he can have the Canyon, right. And all that stuff, but, and I’m going to replace that with history and I’m going to make that the kind of formations that I run through
Gagz: [00:37:47] it’s with this, that, if so with all of this, you know, you you’re armed with just this.
Knowledge this intimate experience with what it is that you’re studying. I mean, it literally becomes you.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:38:00] Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. My poor wife, she’s had to deal with me for the last week and it’s just terrible. The amount of time I sit there reading through old newspaper archives and stuff.
Gagz: [00:38:13] One of the questions the runners have, I mean, I’m sorry.
The listeners at home have to be happening to selves is when you’re in, when you’re doing these kinds of runs, I mean, you’re mentioning. Number streets up in New York, you know, you’re mentioning, Oh, do you ever worry about if I’m going to be running through quote unquote, a safe area, it’s a
Todd Aydelotte: [00:38:30] huge deal. And it’s becoming, you know, more important now than ever before the city is really, you know, going back to the seventies, it’s really becoming dangerous out there right now.
So, yes. So I use a variety of tools to make urban street running historical ultra running. Safer in New York city. So, you know, the process is, you know, once I’ve consumed all of the research, then I pick out, uh, you know, the destinations I want to go to, but what you can’t use as Google maps, Google maps will kill you because what Google’s algorithm will do will always find the shortest
Gagz: [00:39:07] right.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:39:07] Route 32 points. So it doesn’t factor in that you’re running through gang neighborhood in the South Bronx. It doesn’t work like that. So. So I’ve learned over the years how to do this safely. So first I’ll use Google maps to find the shortest route that’s number one. Okay. And then I use crime heat maps, number two, because you have to know, you have to be aware of what you’re running through.
I don’t necessarily run around. High crime areas. I run through them, but I run through them safely. I will find a major road that has sidewalks and I won’t go on the side roads. So not necessarily the storage distance between the two points, but the major roads between those two points are where I will be.
Okay. But I have, you know, I’ve gotten in to two very dangerous sketchy,
Gagz: [00:39:56] which one’s your favorite?
Todd Aydelotte: [00:39:57] So I would say that. There were two gosh, there was one or I was chased by what I think were a group of young female gang members, ironically, under Highbridge, uh, the Highbridge, which is where Edgar Allan Poe used to walk back and forth.
It’s one of the most beautiful first water bridge in New York. It helped bring water from the Croton aqueduct and the new York’s gorgeous bridge underneath. It is just spectacular. Spectacular park in East Harlem. It’s so beautiful. And I forgot it could have been the Teddy Roosevelt run. It was one of the long or the Walt Whitman.
One of the long ones where I was somehow started North end com
Gagz: [00:40:42] or, or your Tesla run. I mean, we could go on and on you’re wrong.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:40:47] But what had happened was this was early on, I think, in the first six months. And it was like 10 at night and I was like, okay, I’ll just run through the park. Cause it’s literally one of the most beautiful parks in New York.
It’s just amazing. And I just didn’t know at this point in my trajectory that at, at night, those parks, the gangs fill those parks, especially in that area. Okay. Where you’re up in the Bronx and Harlem, those two areas at night, the parks are real. You got to know what you’re doing. So by the time I realize what a poor decision I’ve made, I’m about halfway into the park.
Okay. And. You know, I was in this situation where intuitively I knew if I stopped and turned around and ran back that it would draw more attention. Cause everyone was looking at me at this point, it was real sketchy. And so, and then I made it even more foolish mistakes. So as I moved through the park and I got up by the water, I noticed that there’s a group of, I’m going to say like 500 people in a pack.
It, it just, it’s a huge group of people on the water and there’s hip hop music plan and everyone’s bumping and grinding and it is a party and it is awesome. And I’m seeing something that no one can see in
Gagz: [00:42:01] and you blend in so well,
Todd Aydelotte: [00:42:03] you’re like, yeah. And I’m like running through there with my lights on lights on not good.
And I totally didn’t think I was so swept up in the moment. I was like, dude is so cool. No one’s ever looked at this. You know, I took out my phone. Oh God. I took out my phone. This is what I was learning.
Gagz: [00:42:29] I want to go for a run with me through the city,
Todd Aydelotte: [00:42:32] take out my phone and I start to take a picture and this young one and to my right.
Screams out at me and I turn and she’s pointing at me and I forget her exact words, but I remember her accusing me of being a police officer. And so I panicked. I mean, I literally panicked, Gagz. I wasn’t going to reason with her. It just felt intuitively so dangerous. So I fled and, uh, I mean, I took off
Gagz: [00:43:04] really now.
I’m picturing time for the people at home. I am picturing Todd as one of the fewer. He’s like one of the baseball fewer. When you watch that scene, when they’re running through the cemetery, that dude is. Hustling.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:43:19] I was so scared.
Gagz: [00:43:21] And when you’re running through the cemetery, w when you’re, when you run through the park right now being chased by what I’m going to call the, uh,
Todd Aydelotte: [00:43:27] the Lizzy’s were tasting.
I listened, I took one look over my shoulder and there were two young women, and I’m telling you I was flat out and they were not far behind me. And I was so scared. I was so unbelievably scared. I sprinted for so long. And I remember I eventually totally outran them, or they just. I stopped. And I ended up, you know, pulling out of the park and I ended up making a hard right between these, this row of buildings and hiding.
I like sat between the buildings. Cause at this point I was really worried that they. Yeah, we’re in cars or we’re out on the streets looking for me. So I stayed off the streets for awhile.
Gagz: [00:44:05] There’s a question. Did you actually snap the picture?
Todd Aydelotte: [00:44:09] Um, I actually think I can find
Gagz: [00:44:10] it. All right. Well, I mean, obviously not right now, but
Todd Aydelotte: [00:44:13] to post again, I think I could show this to you.
Cause I think I have a blurry one
Gagz: [00:44:18] group. I definitely want to see this picture. Todd. I definitely want to see this picture. So here’s the. There’s. I mean, you’ve, you’ve done so much, Todd and I, we, we can only cover so much here, but is there a white whale out there for you? Meaning is there a run that has consumed you, but you’ve it just.
You can’t quite get to it.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:44:44] There is the white whale. Okay. The white whale is the Howl ultra run, which you and Eddie, and probably Ryan- barefoot Ryan, and Dan Zimmerman, but some others are going to come on this one with me this year. I think it’s. 70 some odd miles. Uh, I worked with, uh, Allen Ginsburg’s foundation, New York city to put the run together.
That’s so awesome. Uh, but the run starts in Newark or Allen was born and then goes up to Greystone where his mother Naomi was put in a mental institution and he used to have to visit her there. And, uh, and then it goes to Patterson where he grew up from much of his younger years and then all the beats sites through New York city, Ellucian car and all that kind of stuff.
Um, finishing at Allen’s old apartment on 13th street. And I went on that, I took that around. I think it was December of this year.
Gagz: [00:45:38] Yes. Number 29,
Todd Aydelotte: [00:45:40] 29. And, and, you know, I’d noted her. Yeah. Earlier in this interview, I’d had this policy of. Never ever, ever changing plans based on weather. So this is where I learned that that might not always be right.
Gagz: [00:45:54] There’s a, it says last night as I was about 40 miles into the run, the voice in my head.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:46:01] Yeah. So all week before I left on that run, they were broadcasting that this massive nor’easter was dropping in that day. And I was like to all my friends, I’ve never quit. It’s over 70, but. This is fine. I can do this.
Gagz: [00:46:16] And leading up to this run. I mean, this was a big deal for you, Todd. I like you where you were. This is this, this, this is one of the reasons why you guys need to follow Todd on Instagram, T O D D A Y D E L O T T E. Um, leading up to this run, he’s chronicling all the places where the beets hung out. Take pictures of what is there now and comparing them to what they were.
For example, Joan Vollmer. Yeah. Tell her story,
Todd Aydelotte: [00:46:43] Joan. I mean, she’s one of the beets and absolutely fascinating. Uh, she was kind of the, I guess you could say the life of the party that people used to go to her apartment, where she was ultimately with William Burroughs and, um, you know, the very famous story is that, you know, later in Mexico, uh, they play the William tell game and burrows ends up.
Killing her attempting to shoot an Apple off her head and shoots her in the face. And you know, that whole incident is controversial. And I think, you know, he largely got off. In the end, uh, due to his rich family connections, but she was right there in the heart of the beets. Right? There’s the Lucy Carr murder there’s junkie, uh, Herbert Hunky.
I mean, there’s just so many cool things. And then the wildest thing about that was first of all, that I had the Ginsburg foundation, Peter Hale, who runs the foundation, curated the run for me and helped me pick out the right spots. And then what I did that was. Absolutely freaking awesome.
Gagz: [00:47:49] Stop for one second.
When you reached out to Peter, what was his reaction?
Todd Aydelotte: [00:47:53] He was like, this is the coolest thing. Alan, Alan would love this
Gagz: [00:47:57] or any hesitation at all? Like how can we make this work or not? He was just like, bring it,
Todd Aydelotte: [00:48:02] bring it there’s this something Alan would dig because what I w what the second part of this, but it’s not just tracing the full arc of balance life.
But I created an audio loop, which if you joined me is going to drive you crazy guy.
Gagz: [00:48:15] I can imagine.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:48:17] Drive you out of your mind, but it’s also going to enlighten you. So what it is, it’s an audio reading. I think it’s the great Chicago table reading that Ginsburg gave it’s his most famous reading of Howl so.
I have an audio loop of howl.
Gagz: [00:48:29] At that time. Our country had banned howl.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:48:32] Exactly.
Gagz: [00:48:33] Cause the drugs was that how much our sexuality in general.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:48:39] Yeah. And so, but I had this beautiful recording of Alan reading, how in my ear, on a loop. And then I, after every reading of how I w I would include this other loop of Alan chanting the book.
Pardon Mamba Sampha, uh, which is a Buddhist mantra. And he has this beautiful, like 15 minute long chanting of that particular mantra. So I would have how play and then Alan chanting this mantra. And so over the course, I was going to about
Gagz: [00:49:10] a 35 minute loop, right. It was about what, 21 minutes.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:49:14] And so like, by the time it was at 40 miles, cause I wanted to see what, first of all, you can run to Allen’s poetry really well.
Um, the, the cadence of. The way he speaks and the way the words I fall on a page lend themselves very, very well. The footfalls I discovered
Gagz: [00:49:33] how long, long,
Todd Aydelotte: [00:49:35] long, long, long passages. But it’s interesting. If you listen to how, like 30 times in a row, while you’re running 30, 40 miles, it will start to drive you crazy.
I can imagine. And then you’ll also just have moments where you’re connecting with certain parts of the poem and really dynamic ways. And then the chanting from Alan afterwards serves to be a break mentally. But you know, when we take this on again, I’m going to try and get all of us. To be listening to Alan reading Hal as we’re running.
And it’s just super intense to, to be awesome. You know, to me, I I’m constantly trying to turn ultra running into something else that interests me intellectually. So it’s not just the physical thing.
Gagz: [00:50:19] Did you finish the run?
Todd Aydelotte: [00:50:21] So what happened is this? So I got out there, I got out on the run and at around 20 miles, it started.
Boring. And it was just the worst kind of rain December. It was 35 degrees and it was 35 degree rains. The worst, the kind that is, should be snowing is not. And so the roads iced, I was out in the middle of New Jersey
Gagz: [00:50:46] punch you in the face. It’s just, Oh, it
Todd Aydelotte: [00:50:48] like cuts your face. Almost lead was coming down.
And then the roads got really icy. I mean, really, I see there were cars sliding and I was on the shoulder of a major road.
Gagz: [00:50:59] And it’s mainly the road happened to be in, in New Jersey. So you weren’t even in your work yet? I was still leaving the
Todd Aydelotte: [00:51:07] gray stone. And just about, uh, at Patterson, just about actually, I had left Patterson after this.
Gagz: [00:51:14] talking to you, I’m going to take a, to take a stab here and say that you were leaving. The hospital where his mother was. So you were probably focusing on what she was to own on her, on her experience. It’s really heavy
Todd Aydelotte: [00:51:29] party. It really is. Cause he had that going
Gagz: [00:51:32] on in your, so you have that going on in your head too.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:51:34] Yeah. And I really did a ton of homework if he read one of his poems called cottage. Yes. All about mom, you know, so I read that a lot. I was really ready for that run, but I was out there and I never had 20 miles. Cars are going off the road. It’s really icy. I’m getting really cold. And, uh, and so, and then I couldn’t employ my dry cleaner.
My, my longer Matt dammit. Todd, I’m just going to stop you. That’s one of my tricks when I do these long runs,
Gagz: [00:52:04] this is the greatest thing in the world. I don’t know how feasible this is, but it’s going to be one of run with quarters in my pocket. Please tie that your trick.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:52:12] Yeah. So, uh, I run with loose change in my pockets.
And when I get on these runs, I pop into laundromats and I take everything off and I throw it in the dryer and warm it up and keep going
Gagz: [00:52:22] genius.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:52:22] So when you’re soaking wet or it’s winter, that’s just a really powerful strategy because you just turn yourself in your little hot pocket again and keep running.
But all the laundromats were closed because of winter storm. So I was freezing and then. It started getting more and more dangerous cars were going off the road. And I really thought I was like gonna die. So every time a car was coming at me, there were weeds like knee-high weeds along this kind of like major road.
So I would, I would jump into the weeds and then I’d let the car go by. And then I would go back out on the shoulder. Cause I was at worried that the car was going to go off the road and kill me. So I was doing this for like half hours, very slow going. And then this one time, this car’s coming and I go to hop off the road in my foot, literally just about lands on the head of a DOE, a deer who had just been hit by a car.
And I didn’t see it in the weeds. So I come off the road and I literally, my foot’s about to hit this deer. It is, its head was smashed open. It was so graphic and the blood was literally just pooling on the road. It had just happened. It just happened. This deer was just hit. And so I like catch my foot just before I land on the deer.
And I, I lifted up and then like, I ended up falling and I do like a summer salt through the mud. So I don’t hit the deer. And I like, I get up, I look at the deer, I’m like all flipped out. I’m covered in mud and I start running again. And then I start thinking, this is God. God wants me to stop. God has just sent me a message.
It’s really clear. It’s really clear. This is going to happen to you. If you don’t get off the road and then I’m like, Fucking crazy, man. This is, you’re an ultra runner and this is your mind 40 miles, like having its way with you as what’s going on. And then I just kept running and I kept trying to block it out.
And I kept seeing the deer in my head. And then I started like sobbing and I started coming completely unglued and I call my wife and I’m like, Oh, I’m out here. I almost stepped on her.
Gagz: [00:54:34] She’s like, what are you.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:54:35] Talking about like, you’re the crazy, why are you doing this to me? And I just totally came apart.
I’m like, I think I have to stop. I think I’m supposed to stop. And she’s like, you are supposed to.
Gagz: [00:54:46] Yeah.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:54:47] You know? And so I stopped
Gagz: [00:54:48] you posted that pick the following day and, uh, I didn’t have to read the caption. And I remember, I remember looking at it. I was just like,
Todd Aydelotte: [00:54:55] Whoa. And I called it lift and I lift was there like in five minutes or so.
So weird, like within five minutes, the whole runs over on, out on a, on a ride back to my house.
Gagz: [00:55:05] So this will be the white whale.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:55:07] This is the white whale. The only run I’ve never finished.
Gagz: [00:55:10] Wow. That is, that is how
Todd Aydelotte: [00:55:14] that’s how the, how is beast? So,
Gagz: [00:55:17] Todd, you know, you, you, you obviously, you love to run, you love to run.
You love to tie history with running as that is obviously your thing. You are a historical ultra runner, but. There’s one run in particular that totally defies logic. The Bowery mission hallway marathon, you ran a 108 foot track from the foot of your bed. To your refrigerator and back
Todd Aydelotte: [00:55:50] and back 108 feet,
Gagz: [00:55:51] 1,484 times.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:55:56] Yeah, I think it was almost six hours.
Gagz: [00:55:59] I don’t know what to say to that. The listeners have just heard some of your wild tales.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:56:05] Yeah. So the Bowery mission is something I’m really passionate about. I’m deeply involved there. My wife, my son, and I they’ve been,
Gagz: [00:56:12] I saw on your Instagram that you’ve also done.
It was right about this time back in 2020. That you did a ultra run and conducted all six of their missions throughout New York
Todd Aydelotte: [00:56:21] city. It the day or an a
Gagz: [00:56:23] and
Todd Aydelotte: [00:56:24] 140 years, they’ve been serving the homeless and yeah.
Gagz: [00:56:28] Because you’re Todd the macabre, shortly thereafter, you then chronicled the yellow fever epidemic, the breakout from, I mean, just, you know,
Todd Aydelotte: [00:56:37] Yeah, I read the cholera epidemic of 1830, two yellow fever, 1795.
Gagz: [00:56:43] The world is probably tired of hearing about virus
Todd Aydelotte: [00:56:47] series.
Gagz: [00:56:48] No shit.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:56:50] Are you running to pandemics? Yeah, that’s interesting.
Gagz: [00:56:54] So you’ve done all this crazy running. Okay. Now you decided to run a marathon in your hallway for the Bowery mission and they do great work and yeah.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:57:03] Yeah, I did. They’re in the history.
If you look at the history of family poverty in New York city, how do we deal with the poorest? How w how do we deal with those who are, have no food? How do we deal with orphans? All these things from the very earliest days to Bowery mission has been there and been involved. I contacted them and I created this run where I ran.
70 miles. And I went to all of their facilities over the course of 24 hours and volunteered there. The hallway marathon was one I did later this year during the pandemic and it was to raise money. And I think I raised somewhere around $4,000 or so, which was nice. Just to help them out in that way. But yeah, I put that up on Facebook and I live.
Gagz: [00:57:46] And if the listeners want to want to check out the Bowery mission, they can go to the Bowery. I’m assuming.
Todd Aydelotte: [00:57:51] Yeah. Anyone can make donations there right now. It’s it is extraordinary. They serve up. 600,000 meals per year to people experiencing homelessness. And it’s just, they’re so real and so authentic. So I volunteer there with my wife and son.
Gagz: [00:58:08] As this episode drops, Todd will be spooning, mashed potatoes
Todd Aydelotte: [00:58:12] in my kitchen, where it was going to have a huge day helping those who you know, are out on the road.
Gagz: [00:58:17] That’s awesome. Todd, so that’s awesome. And I think we should close out with this Todd for the folks who aren’t. I don’t want to say lucky enough, but I love Philadelphia, you know, and you love New York for the folks who don’t live in places where, you know, they can, for example, here in Philadelphia, you know, I can see where they shot mannequin over at the Macy’s building on by, by city hall.
And I can go to where trading places, you know, and I can hit spots, you know, on those movie maps. But for folks who don’t, who don’t have access, you know, what could they do? What are some suggestions you might have for people who, you know, don’t live in
Todd Aydelotte: [00:58:58] New York city? Yeah, there there’s, there are certain cities that are totally set up for historical ultra running.
Obviously Philly, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, our big metropolitan centers have such a rich, rich history. So I met this one guy one night and he was like, I live in a small town, you know, I’ve got like a couple small pamphlet of history I can dig into, but it was really interesting because what I said to this guys, and we had this really interesting conversation about you can apply the same process I have to almost anything. So you could, for example, do a run that traces different wild flowers. That’s what we were talking about with this particular guy. He was really into botany and flowers and things like that. And we got talking about the fact that you can find certain plants and mushrooms and things like that in certain areas.
And so you could literally have a run tracing, different kinds of vegetation and things like that. Geologic formation. Yeah. I, I was,
Gagz: [00:59:56] I have a friend Jeffrey Bauer. Who’s. Paced me at a couple at a couple of runs. As a matter of fact, he’s a Geologist, and one of the things when we went, when he paced me at Mohican 100 during the off time, this dudes running around the creek beds, picking up rocks and taking rocks home and taking home samples.
Todd Aydelotte: [01:00:13] Yeah. Yeah, it’s just a great way to think about running because to me, I mean, when this all happened, running became a thousand times more interesting. And I started to see it. I do not see running as an exercise.
Gagz: [01:00:27] Now, you know, I can see the passion that comes across in, in, in your manner of speaking.
That’s how passionate you are about this.
Todd Aydelotte: [01:00:35] Yeah, definitely. I see running, running as a physical tool that I. I used to foster mental growth, you know, spiritual growth. That’s really, what I’m trying to do is to use my physical body, to really catalyze a response in my brain. And for me, it just happens to be that history allows me to do that work most directly.
Gagz: [01:00:59] That’s great. Todd. Thank you.
Todd Aydelotte: [01:01:01] Thank you for having me Gagz. I’m super psyched to be here and I get to run with you again now.
Gagz: [01:01:06] That’s I am. I am looking forward to that one. Everybody have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Todd Aydelotte: [01:01:11] Happy Thanksgiving!
Gagz: [01:01:12] Peace and love.
Running times is a product of RADIOKISMET and is produced by Studio D Podcast Production. You can expect new episodes on a bi-weekly basis. If you want to support this podcast. And I really hope you do. Please leave a review wherever you stream your podcasts and be sure to tell your friends. I’m your host Michael Gagliardi AKA Gagz. Until next time everybody. Peace and love.