SEA4 Podcast: Southeast Asian Athlete Achievement > Adversity

The SEA4 Podcast aims to bring the stories of refugees from Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam and their American-born descendants into the mainstream. By focusing on athletes and other accomplished individuals who have overcome adversity we hope to inspire others to pursue their dreams. John Messina and Ko Chandetka from the Lao American Sports Hall of Fame will be interviewing athletes and others who represent the diverse cultures of Southeast Asia including Lao, Laotian, Khmu, Khmer, Hmong, Vietnamese, Lu Mien, Cham, and others.

Boomer Savanh: Laos Born U.S. Navy Veteran, Mountain Climber and Runner

Boomer Savanh: Laos Born U.S. Navy Veteran, Mountain Climber and Runner

Mon, 08 May 2023 10:00

How does a child go from a poor farming village in Laos to the top of a mountain? Opportunity, its what the American dream is ultimately all about. After transiting through a refugee camp, Boomer Savanh, came to America as a child and went on to have a successful 27-year career in the U.S. Navy and is raising a family. As an athlete, he’s climbed to the top of some of the world’s most majestic mountains, endured 100-mile trail runs and competed in Marathons across the country. If there is any opportunity that Boomer is taking advantage of here in America, its living life to its fullest.

Music: Summer 1984 by RKVC

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How does a child go from a poor farming village in Laos to the top of a mountain? Opportunity. It's what the American dream is ultimately all about. After transiting through a refugee camp, boomer Savon came to America as a child and went on to have a successful 27 year career in the U.S. Navy and is currently raising a family. As an athlete, he's climbed to the top of some of the world's most majestic mountains and dirt 100 mile trail runs and competed in marathons across the country. If there's any opportunity that boomer's taken advantage of here in America, it's living life to its fullest. Hey, hi there, John. Great. What's going on there? How are you doing? Yes, I'm doing good. Thank you. You got all your gear in the back behind you, huh? Yeah, just some climbing stuff. I mean, I mean, the garage. This is where my wife works out with her friends. Okay. And where you keep all the cool climbing gear, I guess. Yeah. Yeah. So, I have a really big tree in the yard. And every summer, I bring my girls' friends, my baby girls and her friends. And I let them climb the tree. I set up a top rope system and I attach a bunch of gears. And I also have a zip line out there and the kids love it. Ah, you got the cool helps then. Yeah, I do. Yeah. And they got a couple of crumpleeans out there. It's pretty much all about. Get that insurance though. You know, I know. Yeah, yeah, it's all about them. And yeah. Well, that's cool. Yeah, we're really excited to talk to you, man, because we've had a lot of cool guests on. But you've just done some really awesome things. I almost look at it like basically living life to the fullest here. You know, it's really exciting what you've done. And we're really excited to talk to you about it. Yeah, I appreciate that, John. I think you guys are super cool as well, happy to be on. And I think we're all just living life to the fullest. That's right. We're hoping. Hey, what's up everybody? Welcome to another episode of C4 podcast Southeast Asian Athlete Achievement Through University. I am your host, Coach and Deca. I'm also here with my co-host, John Macina. If you haven't already, please like share our page, LaRoumere and sports, Hall of Fame on Facebook, C4 podcast on Facebook, we're on Instagram, we're on YouTube, Spotify. Just make sure you like, share and tell your friends, man. We really want to get the word out on like, you know, and talk about the great athletes that are coming out of Southeast Asia. And I know as a youth, athletics wasn't a thing, especially when my family came over to the States. Athletics wasn't big, it wasn't priority. It didn't exist, honestly. You know, it was all about academics and surviving. So now we got a new age, a new time, and it's not just about surviving, it's about flourishing. And this next guest, man, he's done some amazing things, man. Like, I just pick weights up and put them down, right? But this guy does some mountain climbing, some very adventurous activities. So without further ado, I'm Gillette John, my co-host, introducing. Yeah, so we're going to introduce today, Mr. Boomer Savon. And before we jump into that, everybody, first I'm going to make an apology, because we'll probably have a little bit of a gap in released episodes, because as most of you know who've been following the show, I'm heading to Cambodia and Laos for the Sea Games and then over to Laos to do a little vacation, also been invited to visit the US Embassy there with the group of athletes that were bringing the US Embassy there is just as excited about it as the allow ministry and sports of education what we're doing. And so that's going to be really exciting. So this episode will publish when I'm gone and there'll be a little bit of a gap. So bear with us, because this is a good one. So we're going to keep you guys hopefully fulfilled with this incredible episode. So with that, we have today Mr. Boomer Savon and I don't even know where to start. Military veteran, mountain climber, marathon runner, ultra trail runner, really an all-around athlete and accomplished guy and an inspiration to many. So welcome to the show Boomer. We're going to kick it off. You were born in Laos. Why don't you tell us a little bit about your early years in Laos and come into the US to get it started? Hey, John, down to go. Thank you for having me on the show. And so let's start that off. I was born in Laos 1971 and my family immigrated to the United States. In 1980, I was born in the region of Laos. So I'm on the cake. So I look at the ghost bio and we're actually same year, same geographic area. Yeah, yeah. So I'm on the edge. Yeah. So what month were you? The real birth date would be November. Oh, okay. 1971, yeah. What about you? I mean, May. May, okay. Yeah. So like, my family, certain members of my family, did you have the dates and the month and the date switched? My mom kind of guessed the date. So on my official date, the legal date for, you know, coming to United States is August 5th. But years later, I went back with my mom and kind of traced the actual date and we determined it was actually November 11th. Oh, okay. Yeah. 11th, yeah. So 11, 11, 1971 from some on the cake area. And so in 1980, the family immigrated to United States and our sponsor was from Portland, Oregon. So I ended up in Portland, Oregon and made a lot of friends here. And, yeah. So that's the immigration story. Very, very similar to a lot of people who came to United States around that time. Yeah. That's crazy. We got to have family that know each other, just growing up in the same area, same year. Yeah. I was born in, I wasn't born in San Juanca. I was actually born in Wukahon, but my family. Okay. Just for like hospital reasons, I had to, you know, my mom had to have a C section. So that's why I was brought over there. But of course a group is a one-on-one kid. Yeah, yeah. So the village, I was born at, it's a Bannunco. So it's, I think around 10 miles outside of San Juanca area. Okay. Okay. So, but, you know, if you, anybody from that area, you're going to say, yeah, yeah, I was born in San Juanca, but, but, um, actually just a small village right outside of it. Okay. Cool. Yeah, that's good. So what was it like? I mean, you were kind of young, but for your parents, and as far as what you could call adapting, learn the language, what was that like, rumor? Yeah. So, yeah, I think, you know, when coming to United States, I was fairly young, started fourth grade, you know, so, and really, of course, you take English as a second language, and there were some challenges, but I had a lot of cool friends. So life back then, I would say it's probably similar to anybody who grew up in the 80s. You know, you, you got a lot of autonomy, and, and you get to go a lot of places when you're a kid. So now they wish, we shield and shelter our kids, but back then, out riding bike and going going to the minimar, playing video games, you know, quarter game, and you play Pac-Man, this Pac-Man and all that, and, and you just come home at night, you know, you go to school in morning, you walk to school, or, or ride your bike to school, and nowadays is life a little different. But, but I remember a lot of autonomy, a lot of just hanging out with friends, growing up United States, and, yeah, some really fun times back then, and I'm still hanging out with those same friends that I went to elementary school. I would say more so middle school and high school with, and they're still here living in Oregon, and, yeah, so, so reminiscing about those days and seeing what we do with our kids now, nowadays we pretty much shot our kids to school, picking up school. I do have same, I'm just a skillty, but, but, you know, we give them some freedom, some other ways, you know. So, why Oregon was it, is that where your sponsor was from? That's exactly it. So you are, you end up where you're, wherever you sponsor your sponsors out. Yeah, so our sponsor was, they were from Portland, so we ended up here. Yeah. Oh, good. So you kind of had a, after adjusting kind of a normal childhood, but what inspired you to join the Navy? Because we want to dive into that career before we get into your athletic career. Yeah, so in Portland, Oregon, annually we have this, this festival called the Rose Festival, and, and, the US Navy, he sends some ships to the Rose Festival, so they come up the filament river and they, they, they more the ship right at the waterfront, downtown, right in front of the, the big event. And everybody from Portland who goes down town with sea to ships, and I was among those kids who saw these pretty cool ships and a bunch of sailors on the ship. And back in the days, the, the Navy's, you know, recruiting slogan or commercial was US Navy. It's not just a job, but an adventure. You know, so as a young, impressionable kid, you know, I was like, wow, this is so cool. And whenever sailors come to Portland during the Rose Festival, they're out here. They're in the dress uniform and I said, man, that looks so cool. So one day, right after my junior year in high school, I went to a recruiter and, and signed up. I was, I was barely 17 and I was in the delayed entry program and right after high school, I was a ship to boot camp in San Diego, San Diego, California. So John, you're from San Diego before or? Yeah, before I lived there about nine years. Correct. Okay. So you're very familiar where RTC San Diego is at. And USS Recruit is still there right now, which is really cool because a lot of my Lausanne friends, they run their own weekend and they run by that ship. Sometimes they'll post and motto and, you know, hanging from the anchor and I'll see the pictures. I'll just laugh. But, but yeah, that area was where I went to boot camp in 1989. So that was really my first station and, and that was really cool. I, I enjoyed, I enjoyed it. And then from there, went to, went to many places. So I don't know if you want me to talk about like a little bit about the military career. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Sure. Yeah, tell us a bit about what you did in the military. You kind of the rank you got to some of your deployments. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, you know, you talk about, tell us about boot camp. I mean, you had to be like probably the only, the ocean guy in boot camp, right? Yeah, there were in our, in our company, I was one or maybe three Asian guys. Okay. And, yeah. Yeah, yeah. And there were a few, yeah, it was a pretty diverse, diverse group, mainly Caucasian, but there were a few African-American and people from all over the country. So if you, it's just, if you were to just randomly pick people out of the, the, the country of the diversity, you would see that majority are white and some are Asian, some are black. That was our company and all over, over the country from, from Texas, from the East Coast, from the South, from, there was nobody else from, oh, the, actually, I was like, I was actually, it was one person from Portland. I remember his last name was Luther. So, yeah, so that was, that was boot camp. It was challenging, you know, 17 still and first time away from home. Man, it was, man, I was homesick, yeah. But from there, I went to school in Tennessee, Millington, Tennessee, right outside of Memphis. And then from there, I went to my first duty station in, so I went to Millington, Tennessee to become a jet engine mechanic. That was my, my first job in the Navy. And then I went to a squadron in Washington State and met some, some, some, blotch and friends there. So there were three of us, a gentleman named Singh, Singh Tong, and then Kip, he's actually from the, I would generally know it. And the three of us were became, became really close friends and we stuck together for about four years in, in Washington State. It would be Island Naval Air Station, would be Island. It's still there. From there, my two friends got out, you know, of the service they did their tour and, and, and got out. I decided to stay in and I got a, basically a Navy scholarship and then I attended University Washington, graduated from there. From there, I went to Officer Candace, school in Pensco, Florida. And then I was, what was your, what was your major in college? I was economics and math. Okay. Yeah. From there, I went to Naval Flight Officer School for a couple years and then I redesigned it to become an innovation logistics officer, basically logistics and acquisition feel. And I served on, on board three aircraft carriers, five squadrons total and various short commands. So the three aircraft carriers, USS Abraham Lincoln, USS Wright Diaz and Howard, USS Carl Vincent. Carl Vincent's the most famous for, you know, that's where Osama Bin Laden, you know, remains was brought on board. And met some cool people too, including New Armstrong. He came on board USS Eisenhower during one of his trip before he passed away. So also stationed at, at many states, three times in California, including so Cal in Monterey, thousand of California and also North Cal in Monterey, California. That's where the Navy sent me to the Naval Coast Grat School in Monterey, California. Spent a tour in Virginia and then five tours in Washington States, once in Japan, tries in Florida and I mentioned Tennessee. So over the course of 27-year career, I met a lot of really cool people in the Navy from all over the world, all over the country and made some good friends. And then one day after I turned over my command, my last tour, I was in charge of a command for about 300 sailors and civilians in Puerto Rico, California. And when I turned over the command for my successor, I retired. And to the surprise of my bosses and seniors and my contemporaries, they were like, wow, boomers going places and how could he do that? How could he just walk away from such a great career? And from according to my boss, he's like, hey, boomer, you're a shoe in for the next rank unless you sexually harass somebody or get a DUI. And he said, I don't know how you can walk away from that. And he said, if I was in your shoe, I can't do it. And he told my wife the same thing. And so he asked me why and the same answer I gave everybody is like, it's for family. And by that time, my oldest daughter had moved to seven different school and we had two younger girls and the wife and I just decided, you know, we have jerked them around for so much all for my career. It's time for them. So that's when my career came to an end. If zero regrets, I enjoy every moment of my time in the US Navy. I still, you know, sometimes I reminisce and think about it, but there's zero regrets on why and the timing of my retirement. So I guess my takeaway from that story is that in any career or in life, so whatever decision you make, if it's really based on the value that is important to you. And in my case, it was family, then you could say that that decision is the right one. So and you won't regret it. So that's kind of like my military career. And I just want to highlight that. It was a great career. And I think if there's some young, young folks out there who would want to serve, I highly recommend it. I think at the minimum, do it for and see where it goes. If you love it, make it career, if not, you know, you at least walk away with a great experience. And how old were you when you were tired? I was 40. So I had 247, 43, 44 I think. Yeah, so yeah, 27, that's a good, that's a great, that's a great run. And yeah, I mean, you're doing something you love, but you're right, it's tough on the family. You know, I lived in San Diego, I told you for nine years and somebody move in next door and they'd be there for 12 months and they're gone, right? Yeah, yeah, because you just saw it, military shuffling around the country. So, Hey, John, what's that term for women that love maybe? We won't go into that, co. It's a joke for another day. Yeah. So, but anyway, so that's pretty cool. Congratulations on your service. Before we move off, we had Tron Cipatsoy on, Laumaric and Navy Seal, born and loused just like you. I'm assuming you didn't run into him anywhere. I have not. They're confused and Navy's huge, but we had to ask. No, no, I would love to love to meet him. Yeah, that's cool. So anyway, you retired, but man, now you're, I mean, you're retired per se from the Navy, but you're doing some awesome things. Starting off with mountain climbing, I mean, tell us how did you get into that? Yeah, so, you know, growing up, I'm actually an obvious snowboarder and I love snowboarding and at one point in my life, I wanted to actually be a ski bum. You know, just just go work, the ski resorts and just snowboard all day long. But, but during my tour in Japan, I want to say 2012 or so. One of my friends invited me to go hike Mount Fuji with him. That was my first hike. So Mount Fuji is, it's pretty challenging, it's a 12,000 footer. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but July 4, 2012, I believe, it was either 2011 or 12, rich and high, went to hike Mount Fuji. We made it to the summit, but man, it was brutal, it was, it was a butt ticker, but I really enjoy the beauty. I love the view. So within the next, within the 12 month period, I went back nine more times total and out of those nine times, I went to summit eight times, eight more times. I also brought my oldest daughter and my wife with me on one of the occasions and then, but my wife made it to the summit, but I brought my daughter back down because she got out to the sickness. So Mount Fuji was the genesis of me getting into hiking, I would say. And there's, I want to share it, Japanese proverb and all the Japanese uses proverb. It states, a wise man will climb Mount Fuji once, only a fool climbs it twice. Once you have done that, you'll understand because of the elevation, altitude sickness, and you're suffering by the time you get to the top. And you would tell yourself, man, why am I doing this? I don't want to come back. And then once you get back down a few days later, it was like, oh man, that was so cool. I want to go back again. So, yeah. If a wise man climbs it once, a fool climbs it twice, what is a guy who climbs it nine times and then brings his wife and kid up? Yeah, exactly. Yeah, so once you get addicted to that challenge, it's really cool and really fun. So that was the start of my hiking. So after Mount Fuji, I got orders to California for my final tour of my command tour. During the tour, I didn't get a chance to do much. It just busy. You're running a 300 person organization and all the responsibility that came with it. I just didn't have a lot of time, but I did some hiking here and there. But the majority of my hiking didn't happen until after I retired. So I moved back to Oregon mainly because my family is here in the region, my wife's family is from Seattle. So to be close to family, even though I really love North Cal and so Cal, man. And if we didn't have family up here, we probably would have recited in one of those two places. I think one of the reasons I really like, I think your brother lives in North Cal, right? Why should I have in Sacramento, my brother's still there, both my brothers there in Sacramento? Yeah. Yeah, I really like that area, that area as well. And especially I brought my wife to to send with me last year and she like to do so. So if we were to pick Northern California, I would pick that area. So at the retirement, whether it's different, right? I mean, it's more in Northwest, a little bit more rainy. Portland versus California, yeah. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, 90 day. Yeah, I used to defend about rain in Pacific Northwest, man, they rained. So what California got this year? Well, it was a lot of rain, which is a blessing. But for us here, I think one year, I would just say this year until the last two weeks, we maybe had two dry days. But for the past six months, we haven't had like a dry day. It's been really crazy. So this is one of the rainiest years that we've had. And I used to defend when people say, oh, you're from Oregon, it was from Portland, it rains a lot. I was like, yeah, but it doesn't really give you factor in the inches of rain compared to like Texas or Florida. It's about the same. I don't ever defend anymore because it really does rain a lot here. It's a little everyday. Texas, they get a massive downpour than it's sunny, right? Yes. That's exactly. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it's almost all the time. If you like cars and you like the four seasons, you like snow, rain and get some sun from maybe July, August, September, then the Pacific Northwest would be great. Yes, so after that, I moved back and did a lot of hiking here and also internationally. But from hiking, naturally progressed to mountaineering and then I got into trail running. And that was kind of like my progression. And then about a year and a half ago, after running the San Diego Rock and Roll marathon, which is a really cool marathon in San Diego, I think is the original Rock and Roll marathon. One of my friends in San Diego reached out to me and said, hey, boomer, man, that was a really good time. I think you should join me and try to qualify to go run Boston. And I really didn't, you know, running road marathons or even Boston, I think it was never been on my radar. But after he reached out to me, I kind of looked into it and said, oh, yeah, that seems really cool. So so he and I qualified last April and then we both ran Boston Marathon together last last Monday. So that was really cool. So thankful that he reached out. And I think in sports and in life, sometimes you see a friend who has certain potential, you just need to just go grab them by the collar or just reach out and say, hey, man, what about this? How about come do this with me? And I'm very grateful that camp reached out to me. So I am now exposed to the road running side. And I think, you know, that goes with any kind of sports. You know, like go see a potential bodybuilder just grab them by the collar. Hey, man, you know, come with me. Let me show you, you know, or something like that. Yeah, I have to say because, you know, my brother ran that capital international marathon in Sacramento, right with you. And that was his first ever. And he's my older brother. He's 50 years old. He went out and tried it, did it, had never ran one before. He said about 20 miles and he hit like a wall. Yeah, somehow somehow made it through not this not as good of a time as you, but I'm not going to let him grab me by the shoulder. Don't pull me into that one. He should. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Boomer, tell us about tell us about like the training involved and the nutrition, all that into, you know, preparing for a marathon. Yeah. So, so the, I would say any kind of training in any kind of sport is very similar, right? In a sense that, that you have an end goal and then you build a plan, right? And I would, I would say almost any sport will be the same. And then you just have to execute the plan, right? So bodybuilding, you know, you got your nutrition plan and then you got your regimental workout and don't miss it. Same thing with a marathon training is, is you build a plan and then you just execute the plan and the marathon just works itself out. You don't even have to worry about that part. Just just follow the process. And John mentioned about hitting the wall, anybody who runs a marathon will know your body going to store about 2000 calories in the liver and your muscle, glycogen. And once you deplete those calories, you're going to hit a wall. And, and it is very common. And, and so basically, there's a saying in like marathon running, like the, the first 20 miles is just it takes about half the effort that last six miles will take the other half effort. So the last six miles, you're going to have to run with your heart because it is, it is all the mental part. It gets hard. But for, so you, you're going to have the training, which for those who want to do, you know, a decent time or time to qualify for Boston or, for example, you probably, probably go through a 16 week or even, even a 24 week training block and, and follow that training plan and then execute the race to qualify for Boston. If you just a leisure runner, you don't even need a training plan. Just go out there and have fun. Enjoy the run and do it the more consistent you are, the better runner you're going to become. But training is probably the most important thing in order to complete a decent, a marathon in a decent time. Like, 20 hours a day was you invest in training. I would say, let's say at 24 weeks out. You have a 24 week. Just, just thinking about doing it so he needs to know. Yeah. Go anybody can run a marathon. I would say, and, and I would say to any, to anybody out there, you got to, you got to put this in your mind right away. You're not going to win any major marathon period. So in the United States, if you look at a Boston marathon, there were only two Americans in the top 10, right? So I think number seven and eight. So unless there's only like one in the million who's going to be any lead runners or maybe one or two in 200 million, right? So you take that out of the equation and you just focus on you running your race, your pace, and your time. Then if you take that out of the equation, you just focus on you going out there and running and having fun. I can guarantee you that anybody can, can run a marathon. If you take away, don't worry about time, especially if it's your first time and you follow a training plan and to all the athletes out there, you, you, you'll know this. You have to, you have to follow a good plan where you don't increase the intensity or the volume too fast or else you'll get this thing called injury and you'll get injury. Once you get injured in any, any sport, the setback from the injury is very, very hurtful in, in your progression, right? So marathon running takes a lot of pounding. Your body takes a lot of pounding. So you have to be very mindful on how you progress in intensity and volume. So for someone who, for my age, I'm, you know, I'm over 50. My body only can take so much. So especially from someone who started running really late in their life, my, my volume, when I peak out, let's say I'm going to try to be Q and qualify for Boston, I peak out about around 60-ish miles a week and, and that's, that's enough for the elite runners. Some are putting in about 200 miles a week in running. So one, 140 to 200 miles is, is, is common to a lot of elite runners. So volume matters. As a lady, she is 70 some years old, she has been the record holder for her age group for many years in marathon running. And, and there was a magazine that asked her, like, what's your secret? She runs 10 miles a day every day. It doesn't matter what. So volume matters if you want, if you want a time that is in, in the higher percent trial, but if it doesn't, time doesn't matter, especially if you're a new person, I would say, don't worry about time. Then it's just going out there and putting in the work day in and day out. Yeah. And usually they'll have a time limit, right? Even for the like the casual ones, like the, the, the capital international marathon where anybody could enter, right? Yes, they do. There is a time limit. Usually in many of the races, some are pretty generous, could be seven, eight, eight hours. Yeah. So even hobby joggers and, and new runners, if they train for it, they should be able to finish in a lot of time. So if you can do four miles per hour, you could finish that lot of time. I know the original story of marathon, the guy that ran across Greece, right? To, to deliver the news of whatever the war coming or the victory or something. He died. So that's just what I remember. He ran the 26 miles, delivered the news and then dropped dead. That was the stories. Who is this? That's what marathon is. It comes from marathon is a city in Greece, right? And I apologize. We'll probably get comments saying I'm wrong, but there was a, there was a Greek soldier or some guy that went to either warn or, or pass on some kind of news, right? To the people and he ran the 26 miles, delivered the news and dropped dead. That's the, that's the legend. And then so the basically you're repeating that race is what you're doing. That's why they come up with this odd like 26 point whatever miles. So. And to boomer, boomer, not to be on the spot, not to be on the spot, but so our audience can get an idea like what was your best time in the marathon and then what is the world? And compared to the world's record at the marathon. Yeah. So my best time right now is 318 24. I believe it was at the California Internet and in national marathons and, and, and earlier to jokie have ran under two hours. I think 159 40 years, you know, something to that effect. And he was the, he was the favorite in Boston, marathon. But he ended up finishing six. So a lot of his fans were disappointed. So here's one thing about distance running. If you want to use time as a gauge, the, if you can run half the speed of the best runners on that day, you would consider yourself. Very good. So for example, 100 mile 100 mile race. There will be somebody who can run it in 14 15 hours. And if you can finish in 28 or 30 hours, that's outstanding. So in Boston, the fastest runner or the runner, the winner this year, I want to say with 205, I could be a little bit off by a couple minutes. If you can run a Boston marathon this year in four hours and 10 minutes, about half of their time, that is an outstanding time. So to, to, to runners out there who want to gauge themselves, I would say use that as the bar is if you can finish half the half the, of the winners time, then you should pat yourself in the back. Like that is a phenomenal time. Yeah. So they're just phenomenal human beings out there who are just outstanding. Like, like when it comes to, to any kind of, I guess you can pick any sport. The, the, the level of performance out there is just amazing. So you kind of, you kind of mentioned something trail running and 100 mile trail runs of 26 mile marathon on a nice road is one thing. You've done some trail running too. Tell us about that. Yeah. So actually my, when it comes to running, my passion is more on the trail. And like I mentioned, I just picked up road running about a year and a half. And I enjoy road running. It's, it's fun. It's great. And especially you get the travel different cities and run the different. And it's, it's a lot of different courses from different courses in the different city. But trail running, that's just something else. You, you, you surrounded by nature and, and, and, and at the, it, when it, when I compare trail running trail running, it's a long slow slog. Compare to road road road running. You just turning the miles just goes by really quickly. And you stop at station just to grab a drink or get a raid and, and, and maybe a gel and boom, you're, you've gone and three hours you've done. In trail running, you just immersed yourself in nature. A lot of times you're just running by yourself. If you're running a race, a lot of times you're running by yourself. So I ran the mountain lakes 100 mile race. And for about 50 K at night, I had three spare sets of batteries for my hitland. And I ran from like 10 o'clock until six o'clock in the morning, all my, all by myself in the dark. And I think I pass it or a few other runners like pass me and, but yeah, it's, so it's just long, slow slog during the day. And at night, and you do a lot of elevation. So for mountain lakes 100, it's 100 miles and about 11 or 10,000 feet in gain. And, yeah. And it, yeah. So that race, yeah, took me to 26 hours to complete. Basically, you don't, you don't, once you start, you don't sleep, you just keep on going in and you're going to hit a lot of highs and a lot of lows because your body would be depleted of energy and you're trying to put the calories back in. And you want to get ahead of that, that curve before, before all your energy runs out before you hit that low. So yeah, but, but trail running it's, that's what, what I really enjoy. So 100 miles. I mean, so where was this word? Where did this thing start and end the mountain lakes just as an example? So people can't visualize. Yeah, this one is here in, in Oregon and, and there are quite a few 100 mile races out there. Some are point to point and they, they have a 200 mile and a 240 mileers in, I want to say in, in Utah. So they're out, there are so many different trail races out there. Yeah. Wow. So when you say point to point, you're talking from one end, you don't go in a circle, you're going straight. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Are there like, like, support in between for you, like the people like for, for water, for like, you said, gels, I mean, I mean, amps. I mean, there's got to be a long way, right? It's not just you going for 100 miles, correct? Yeah, so some of the races out there have support, the one that, that I, I ran had, had eight stations. So some of the, yeah, so some of the eight stations are eight miles apart. Some are a little bit longer, like 14 miles apart. And there are some trail races out there where it's self-supported. So you have to support yourself. Wow. Yeah. You have a team member like waiting with water somewhere or something. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. And then some of our runs. That's what, that's what Dave Gogget is known for, right? Oh, yeah. Well, he did one that goes from death valley to Mount Whitney, which is like the lowest point in California to the highest. Well, yeah. Yeah. This is an example. I don't know how many miles it is, but it's not just about the length, 100 miles on a nice flat area with cool weather, nothing compared to going 10,000 feet, right, Boomer? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So the one you mentioned there, John, I believe that's bad water. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's probably one of the hardest, one of the hardest trailways out there. So so, so that's something like David Goggin would get in there. Is that something you would train for one day? And then you use use of the future? No, bad water. Bad water is not on my list. And I think they have a pretty high bar before you could even get in. So I think you have to finish 100 mile in under 24 hours before you can get in there. But I could be mistaken, I never researched it, but they have a hard time. I remember in Goggin's book, he talks about that. Yeah, he talks about it. So he just wanted to go and they told him no. So he had like one month or something to, like you said, qualify. So he just randomly picked a race without training and basically rode till, rantily almost died, made it. So yeah, crazy guy. Yeah. Yeah. I think when that one, I would have to shave a couple of hours off or go find a 100 mile race that is easier than mountain lakes 100 to get myself in that, to get myself into that torture, torture fest. Yeah. Well, that, that man, that's, that's some cool stuff, the trail running for sure. Now, we kind of, we kind of jump over mountain climbing and I know people are probably excited to hear about that. I mean, what were some of the coolest mountains you've climbed? Yeah. So, so internationally, you know, some of the cool higher peak mountains, you know, would be a Tildman Jaro in Tanzania. That was really cool. I enjoyed it. And I also went to Nepal and, and when I, I went on the Everest base camp track, which is I would save your hiker. I would put that on top of your list. It's just an amazing track from, from the viewpoint. It's, you end it up, you end up at the base of Mount Everest. It's still elevation wise over 17,000 feet high. Not everybody will make it to Everest base camp because of the elevation. And in our crew, we started with, I think 13 people and, and a little more than half made it, made it there the rest, the rest didn't make it because of altitude. So altitude is actually the number one factor, whether somebody will be able to climb a big mountain or not. While, while I was there, I climbed Imjusse, it's like the formal Nepalese name for it, the, the, to the west we call, commonly, commonly called Island Peak is a 20,000 footer, 20,200 feet or so. And that was, that was fun. I, that, that's a peak where a lot of people aspiring to climb Mount Everest, like to go train at. And so those, those two internationally, I used to aspire to, to go climb Mount Everest until I did some research and realized what kind of resources required, you know, from a monetary standpoint, you're going to expect to spend at least 100K for an attempt. Wow. Oh, wow. Yeah. So, so that's because, you know, you can probably find a rep, reputable guy for about 75K but before that, you still got to go train on some other mountains. Let's say you're going to go to Denali in Alaska and maybe Akon Kaogwa down, down in South America. And once you add all that in together, you're going to spend at least 100K. So, so, you know, scratch that off. Yeah. But it would be really cool to even attempt it if I had that kind of resources. It's hard to because there's a very narrow window sometimes to get up there with weather. And sometimes, so many people queued up, all kind of squeezed into two weeks. There was actually a mass death because so many people went up, they sort of got trapped behind each other, right? Ran out of oxygen. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And, yeah, it's tragic. Unfortunately, but the reality is, for those who are aspiring to climb any of those big mountains, they, like you said, they only have a small world. So, there's a lot of people who are going to be able to climb any of those big mountains. So, I think it's a great idea to have a little bit of a big, big, big mountain. And, yeah, it's a great idea to have a little bit of a big mountain. Yeah. So, yeah, yeah. So, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. And then many people die from the high altitude and being exposed at such great, great elevation for a long period of time. So for the people in the US, because that's where most of our listeners are, that aren't ready to climb like Benali and Alaska or Sempton Harbor, what would be like your favorite, let's call it, amateur mountain, like a beginner can kind of do scenic, beautiful, good, good place to start. A good place to start in the United States, actually a lot of, a lot of people who get into mountaineering like to come here in Oregon and summit Mount Hood. Mount Hood is probably the most iconic mountain for aspiring mountaineers to climb in the United States. So, Mount Hood is still, is technical challenging, they're still on, on annual basis, I would say almost, almost one to two deaths per year, the Mount Hood. And then the next level up would be Mount Rainier in Washington State. And then from there, if, from there, I would say the next level up would be Denali. So a lot of the local folks who are into mountaineering aspire to go and climb Mount Rainier. So Mount Hood, good for training and then move up to Mount Rainier. And then from there on, you can move on to internationally or go to Denali, which is a totally different level than Mount Rainier. But in the United States, if you're into hiking, I would say any, I mean almost every peak, they all the peaks out there are just, just amazing. I find beauty in every, every mountain. And some of the best mountains that I climb are really small peaks. Like the ones that I, I hike with my girls and the family. Or locally, we have Doc Mountain in the spring. We have just wild flowers, the entire mountains, just wild flowers and people from all over the country fled to Doc Mountain here, right across the river in Washington State, not too far from where I live about an hour away. But yeah, there are, there are other mountains in this region in the Cascade Range going from Mount Baker in, in, in Washington State at the border of Canada all the way down to Mount Shasta all along this range. I climb almost all of them and I love them all. Mount, sometimes the, the challenge is not about how high the mountain is, but the route that you choose. For example, Mount Rainier, I climb Mount Rainier twice using the, the disappointment cleaver or DC route and also the Cout glacier, which is an ice climbing route. But the hardest climb that I've had in this region was actually Mount Baker, which is only a 10,700 footer mountain right between Canada. At the, it's at the upper most part of the North Cascade, right by Canada. 10,700 foot versus Mount Rainier of 14,400 footer mountain. But, but climbing the North Bridge Mount Baker involved using two pitches of rope climbing an 80 or 90 degree ice wall. And that was my, the most fun, the most fun of all the routes of all the mountains I ever climb is the North Bridge Mount Baker. Now, mountain hood, I have only climbed Mount Hood about half a dozen times, but I do want to share the risk that's involved. During two of those times I, I brought friends from South and California and I took them up to the summit. When I take them up, I, I use ropes and I pick it and, and pick it to put in anchor to make sure that if, if we fall, we were protected. But everybody need to use that. Some people just use ice axe and, and crampons and just go up without, without using protection. But we did during one of the climbs. With then I would say three feet from my friend, three climbers fell from, from near the summit. And literally they went, three people went right by us. Fortunately, all three survived that day. One had to be a matter of back out with just some broken bones, but there's some real risk going out on, on the mountains. The, when people ask, what's the number one danger out there? I tell them it's, it's actually, it's gravity. The number one killer is gravity, gravity from avalanche or gravity from causing a fall. Those are the number one killer on these mountains. So, or even gravity pushing down rocks and smack you and take you out. So there's, there's some real risk, but it's, it's fun. It, if, you know, you just have to weigh those risks and assess the condition and, and go out there and, and enjoy the, the mountains. Where'd you think of Tanzania climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? Oh, Tanzania. I can't, um, Kilimanjaro is more of a long hike up. Okay. So there's not a lot of technical, um, and the glacier there is, is a lot of is melted out. I'm not sure if there's a glaciated route where like, you know, like a mountaineer who can climb up there. But if just a long trek up to the summit, but it was fun, I think you get exposed to a third world country. And if you've been to a third world country and you think, wow, look at life here, they have it hard and, and, and it's different. You know, if you've been to Laos and the suburb of Laos and you go, wow, hey, you know, life here is different and looks like it's challenging. You know, if you go visit Tanzania and you're going to go, wow, you know, we, if you think the suburb of, of the country side of Laos have it bad. So it just, you know, opens your eyes to, to the world out there. And, and I think, you know, especially we, we have kids taking him abroad to other countries, other countries and, and seeing exposure to life out there. So when I was in the Navy, when I went to port calls and all these different places and cities, I don't just stay in the touristy side. I usually branch out to the other places, you know, you see the storefront, but hey, what's behind the storefront? What's the, what's the people behind here? I'm one of those explorers who likes to go and see. So when I go to Tanzania, I had a guide and I had people who took me around. And you didn't want to be alone. There you needed locals because there's just, it was just scary in some area. And I really wanted to see where they live, how life was. And that's the kind of person I am. I love to see it. I want to see what life and, and I want to see and, and hear their story. And, and so yeah, so that's, that was something about Tanzania and all the used Japanese cars. That you think would just get crushed in Japan. I see them in Tanzania. You know, it's like, wow, okay. So there's not even a secondary market, used car market. There's a tertiary market. That's where all those used vehicles end up. And it was just an eye opener for me to see, to see that. So yeah, so that was really cool. And anybody who's a hiker who wants to, if, if it's time and resource allocation, should I go to Everest Base Camp or or Kilimanjaro. So I only can speak for those two because I've been to those two places. I would say go to EBC first. And then if you have time, go to Kilimanjaro. Awesome. Well, you've done so much. You've climbed a lot of mountains, ran a lot of trail runs. What's next for you, Boomer? What's the next big challenge? Yeah, so, you know, so I've been trying to get into the, the Western state endurance race, which is probably the most iconic trail race, 100 mile race in the United States. It's, I would equate that race to almost like New York City, Marathon. You need like New York City, Marathon, you got a qualifying time, but then you still put your name in a lottery. I have friends who ran a qualifying time. They didn't get in. And, and so this past year, I did ran qualifying time. I'm going to throw my hat in there and try to get into New York City. Western states the same thing. You have to run a qualifying race with a qualifying time. You got to run 100 K or 100 mile race annually within a lot of time. And once you finish that, then you can apply for the lottery at Western states. So I apply last year didn't get in. I plan to run 100 K race called Wadow in August. And then once I successfully complete that, I'll throw my name in the hat again. And then I'm going to repeat the process every year until until I can get into that race. And I think it will be kind of cool to have ran, you know, the oldest marathon, the Boston marathon in the United States and the oldest 100 mile trail run in the United States. And then so this year, I do have some marathon lineup. I'm going to be running the Rock and Roll San Ego marathon with friends. That's kind of like our annual, our annual marathon ritual. We go out there, hang out with friends, run for fun. And then in October, I'm going to be going to run in Coats hometown in Chicago, run the Chicago marathon. And then in December, I'm going back to Simulgi on Telephone International Marathon. And then I'm thinking next year, I already qualify for Boston for next year at Boston and also at Sim. So depending if my friends are going on that, they still need to be cute. But if they be cute, I'll go back with them. I don't like to go alone. It's just more fun with friends, right? So the plan there is to have some friends call five this year and go back and run together next year. And then next year, I was invited or we've been talking about this charity run called Run for Loud Children Hospital in 2024. This 385 kilometer run from Vyeongjian to Longpa Bang. And it's too, yeah, I don't know if you guys heard it, but it's just to raise money for hospital. They have a train to get you there too. That sounds cool. That sounds very cool though. Yeah, over the high speed train, like John said. Maybe on that. No, but yeah, tell us about it. That sounds really interesting. Yeah, so one of our friends, two partaking that last year. And I think he had a blast. I'm sure he was torturing as well. But yeah, they raised money for a children hospital in Longpa Bang where they treat children for free. So it's for a really good cause. We've been talking about it. My friend, Cam, in San Diego and I have been talking about it. It's just too far out for me to commit. He just never know and injury happens and you're out, you know, but that's something we're considering in 2024. Yeah, and I know that you so you could you're going to run the whole thing, right, all the way to three hundred eight five because they had so little mini runs. I saw on Facebook some family over there and stuff did like a, I don't know, five or 10k part of it. Yeah, yeah. If I do, I think Cam and I plan to do the whole thing. But yeah, if we can't make the whole thing, I think it still be a really cool experience and for a really good cause. Awesome. Yeah, that's not exciting. What were you up to? Yeah, but I do want to point out that some of the most fun thing to do are, you know, just hikes, you know, and I think for those who want to get in, they could just hike locally anywhere. But, but some of the coolest runs are actually not racist. And I just want to share just a few of my personal favorites, the Grand Canyon rim to rim to rim where you run from South Rim to the North Rim and then back to the South Rim again, or run around Mount Hood in the summer because in the winter, you can't with the snow, or the Timberline trail and then run around Mount St. Helens. I'd end that about half a dozen times. It's like a 50k trail run, you know, on your own, your own pace, you want to go as slow as fast as you want. But it's just the view and the challenge. And I would just say the view, it's just so majestic, you know, it. So some of the best runs are not racist, but just these trails. In the east coast, there's a, in New Hampshire, there's a trail or a run that I want to do called the presidential traverse. I just couldn't do it with my trips in Boston the last time. It was just too cram, but I do want to do that the next time around. So yeah, so I just want to find that out, some of the coolest are not racist, but just really an adventure run. Well, really cool. Well, as we kind of come to a close here, any parting advice for anybody for whether it's getting into the sport or life in general boomer. Yeah, so I do have some comments about, you know, like hiking, you know, it's really easy, it's really walking, you know, just turn it on, do a knob, get outside and just start walking. Sometimes in life, we have a lot of stressors, whether at home, at work, family, sometimes we just want to go outside and just go for a walk. And then who knows that that short walk could lead into a lifetime hiking, mountain mirroring and running. And you know, kind of like what happened to me, but for those out there, just turn the door and get outside and go for a walk. And when it comes to running, I would say always start slow and then be all your way up. That is mainly to prevent injuries. And so that you can, so you can enjoy, enjoy that sport a lot longer. And I think for the main takeaway over everything else, the Warren Buffett, you know, told a bunch of kids many years ago. And he said that, I think he shared a story about cars. But the story is, if you were given a car when you finish school, and then what if I tell you that you can pick any car you want? The only thing is when you get that car, it will be the only car you get and you have to use that car for the rest of your life. You crash it, you cannot replace it, it is the only car. And then he mentioned, if you think about about this, you are born with just one body and one mind, you're given just one body and one mind. Just like the car, you would take such good care of it because you know it has to last a lifetime. And we, as human, we sometimes forget that we just, our body or one body and one mind, we forget that we have to take care of it and make it last a lifetime. So I know you guys into sports and fitness and you surrounded by you who are into sports and fitness. As we age, we sometimes forget that this is, we only have one of this and one of this. We have to take care of it and one of the ways to take care of it is to stay fit and to stay healthy so that we can use it for as long as we can. So I guess my takeaway advice that would be very bright and very general is take care of your body, take care of your mind and be happy and just enjoy life through the fullest. Definitely coming from someone with, you know, as we age, we advise her, right? Absolutely. I believe that now I want to be fit. I want to be healthy. But man, when I was younger and at my peak, it was all or nothing because all or nothing and I was just taken to the limit. So, fortunately, I never got any type of like, you know, injuries that need a surgery. I know a lot of people that, you know, through with that type of mentality, you know, are suffering now and so, yeah, definitely take care of that body. Take care of your mind as well. Take care of your spirit. Take care of your spirit. Yeah, they all kind of have to come together at the end of the day for to be healthy. Well, boomer, man, this was exciting. We really appreciate you taking us through this journey that you're on and appreciate that parting advice. So before we wrap up, co anything else for boomer? Well, I definitely got to say, again, because we focused on athletes and stuff and they did adversity of athletes, right? I mean, I could be wrong and someone could correct me. But man, I don't think I've heard of it. The ocean that's done all these, you know, 100 mile races, marathons, mountain climbing. So I had an extraordinary, extraordinary athlete. Well, we're glad to have on today. We had La Pongla Kitakai Sion who he's a hiker, over 48,000 miles when we talked to him, but different hiking, you know, not, not, not doing it for time, not, not running. But I do have one parting question, boomer, that I know co was dying to ask. I'll ask it. Where did you come up with the name, boomer? Yeah, actually, over the years, I get, I get asked out of line and some people would think it's the, it relates to the Navy because of the boomers, you know, submarine class or something differently. So the name boomer was given to me when I was an outdoor school counselor to sixth grader. So I don't know if in other states, they have this, but in the sixth grade, you, you go to outdoor school. And so my, my real name is Boon Ma, but the kids cannot pronounce it correctly. So they said from now on, we're just going to call you Mr. Boomer when I was the counselor. And I kept it. Yeah. Simple. Yeah. So Boomer came from Boon Ma and it just stayed. Yeah. I don't know for like almost 40 years now. Yeah, that's, that's awesome. Well, man, we really appreciate it. Thanks so much for coming on, everybody. Remember, please like, follow the show, share it with your friends. If you, if you are inclined to, please give us a five star review on Apple. It helps a lot with their algorithm. If you have more reviews, we know there's a lot of listeners out there on Apple. We could see it in the data. So please help us out with one of those reviews. What's up, Co, any last words? No, nothing for me. So again, thank you Boomer for coming on and all right, everybody. Thank you for listening to this episode and have a great one. Thanks. Thanks for having me on John, on John and Co. Thanks. The C4 podcast is brought to you by the Lao American Sports Hall of Fame. Visit us on the web at Lao American We'll be celebrating the first, inspiring the next.