Author's titles

Newest release!
 
"Best Season Yet: 12 Weeks to Train"   

Coach's Edition and Athlete's Editions.

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas 

Click here for details and ordering information.

Click here to view the movie trailer

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Rebekah Trittipoe is one who knows what it means to “go the distance”. This committed Christian runs—and survives—ultra marathons, which find her on jaunts of up to 100 miles at a time. Amidst sometimes unthinkable conditions Rebekah—determined to meet her goal—grinds on.

As with her extreme running, Rebekah's dedication to God’s Word is steadfast and focused. Just as she encourages fellow runners to keep their eyes open to the beauty around them during a trek through challenging terrain, Rebekah inspires other believers to look for God's revelation not so much in theological treatise, but in the mundane things of life—watching a simple sunrise, pulling weeds, taking in orphaned kittens, or hauling rocks for a backyard path.

Her daily devotions (366 of them, to encompass leap year) include an inspirational story, a Scripture, and a daily challenge. She offers these with the mere purpose of helping each of us make our way through the daily grind—whether that be navigating the nettle-fraught mountainside or sitting at a desk slogging our way through a work day.

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Preface (excerpted from "Pace Yourself")
 
Pulled from the recesses of a tiny closet tucked under the stairs, the simple cardboard boxes showed their age. Each, encrusted with a deep layer of dust, held valuable treasures unfitting such a humble hiding place. Choosing one, I gently blew the surface clean and pulled open the box flaps. Not yet wanting to disturb the contents, I sat up straighter in my cross-legged position and took it in before reaching to open the remaining boxes. There before me were hundreds of letters still in their faded envelopes, most written in the mid-1940s.  Each had been meticulously opened, none carelessly torn. Gingerly, I pulled one from a box and began to read.

Hours passed. My legs cramped and my hands and lap grew dirty from handling the old mail. But still, a life unfolded before me; a life I didn’t know. You see, these were the letters my Father had written in his college years. Long before the day of email and cell phones, he kept a steady flow of letters to his parents and chums back home. Like a ping-pong game, mail bounced in both directions. And somehow, each letter was saved and sealed into a box for safekeeping.

My Dad’s letters, written in that distinctive yet tiny penmanship, revealed a lot about his day to day life. He was a descriptive writer, sharing detail some might consider mundane. I learned about his classroom habits, I read about his play on the baseball field, I saw letters of acceptance into dental school and I viewed pictures of his pals. But more importantly, through his writing I came to understand his character. I could feel his joy and his disappointments. And, I sensed his strong and steady faith. Those boxes of letters became his life’s journal. I am forever grateful.

Now sixty-some years later, I take a similar path. Though without postage, I create my own journal; a collection of stories and experiences throughout a single year. Each entry is my letter sharing real life. Not life the way I wish it to be. Just plain life. Some entries may seem ordinary. Some extraordinary. But all are written with a singular purpose: To discipline myself to see God working everyday in every way.

I invite you to journey with me as I begin to train my mind to understand that this God of the vast universe is also the God of the smallest detail. Slowly and methodically, we’ll work ourselves through the good and bad, the joys and sadness, the thrills and the mundane. Too often we want a dramatic theological breakthrough but fail to see the lessons in pulling weeds or watching a simple sunrise. So come. Take a run with me through 366-days of normal, ordinary life.

366 pages/2010
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 In most of our lives there exists a defining moment--a moment so significant that your life is forever changed. For me, that moment was September 13, 2003. I was anxiously watching my sons play in a Saturday morning soccer game.  Never before had I felt such crushing pressure from an upcoming event. As my muddy boys left the field I felt overwhelmingly compelled to have a family photo taken. If something happened to me, I wanted them to have a picture of our family in happier times.
 
The photo was snapped, I choked back the tears as I bid my husband and boys farewell. For fear of letting my inward sobs become obviously public, I looked neither to the left nor to the right as I walked with two of my closest friends to the car. We climbed in and started the long drive to Dulles International airport. My journey to the Amazon jungle of Brazil had begun.
Having a nine year history of running ultramarathons, running 30, 50 or even 100 miles in a day, though difficult and challenging, was not particularly daunting. But, to run 160 miles over six stages in unknown territory was quite a different story. Relentless heat and humidity, snakes, poisonous spiders, jungle cats of prey and swamps were not a part of my past experience. The dangers of this undertaking were real and the difficulty of the terrain was to prove unforgiving. Furthermore, the logistical difficulties of a self-sufficient race were mind-boggling.

From the moment I Ianded in Brazil, a floodgate of new experiences hit me from every side. The language, the people, the sights and sounds were all novel. From the pre-race shopping trip to the market to the day-long boat ride into the jungle, I stood amazed that I was at last embarking on my own personal adventure. Who would have ever thought that I, a mid-40’s soccer Mom, would fly into a different hemisphere to pursue some ill-defined quest? I had written books and articles about the high adventure of others but finally, this trip, this race, was my very own.

The six days of racing in the Brazilian Amazon jungle provided numerous opportunities for improvement: improvement in strategy, improvement in attitude, improvement physically, and improvement spiritually. The highs and lows experienced on a daily level were ever-changing and unpredictable. Unbreakable bonds were formed with fellow runners and race staff. And daily, the complexity of the ecosystem, the brilliant array of the starry equatorial sky and the cacophony of jungle sounds served as testaments to a marvelous creation.
The time in the jungle proved to be more than a race; it was an examination of life and priorities. It was a test of resolve and character. It was an experience of a lifetime not to be missed – and I would do it all over again!

178 pages/2006 

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The day was like so many other East Coast summer days. Even with the dawn of the new day, the oppressive heat could be felt and would continue to build with every passing moment. The cock-a-doodle-doo of the roosters would sound muffled in the heaviness of the early morning air. The combined effect of heat and humidity would make it feel as if there was a monster on your chest, fighting you for every breath and stealing away your energy. The newscasts warned people of the heat, encouraging inside activity and discouraging long exposures to the elements. Seeking to protect them, even dogs and cats would be given refuge inside air-conditioned walls by their owners. Those traveling the highways would do so in climate-controlled vehicles. Local ice cream and soda shops would do a booming business on this day. Tempers would easily be ignited by even the smallest of irritations. Children would beg their mamas to turn on the hose or go to the local pool. Mothers, too hot and tired to argue, would agree. Productivity in the work-a-day world would have to be guarded since motivation is inversely proportional to the rising temperatures. Farmers would consider postponing their chores until evening, choosing rather to pass the time at a local diner discussing the price of corn. But off in the distance, a small band of runners would be seen, stretched out along Route 30 in rural Pennsylvania and making their way ever closer to New York City. 

To most of those ten runners, today would be just like so many days before and many days that would follow. They would start running before dawn, unreasonably hopeful that the sun's rising would be somehow postponed if only for the day. They would forge on ahead, barely pausing every two miles when food and refreshment would be offered to them. They would don hats and sunglasses to provide a buffer from the sun. They would douse themselves with water and place ice cubes under their hats to externally cool themselves. Day's end would find them 47.1 miles further from Huntington Beach, California and 47.1 miles closer to finishing their transcontinental crossing in New York City. Their steps, though weary from the millions taken before, would move unfalteringly forward toward the goal. They would not move to the right or to the left. No deviation from the prescribed course would be taken, for this would mean wasted energy. They would reach today's finish line, shower, eat, rest, and prepare themselves for more of the same before the rising of the next sun. But to one runner, today would be forever set apart from the other 63 days of the race. Today he would find himself at the intersection of his dreams, forcing him to pause from the relentless pursuit down the highway to ponder his life's choices. As the tractor-trailers roared by, this lone runner would seek the refuge of another trail, another journey, if only for a moment.

The date was August 14, 1995. The race was the Trans-America Footrace, the modern equivalent to the trans-continental Bunion Derbies of 1928 and 1929. The runner was David Horton, experienced and celebrated in his sport of ultra-running. The day had begun at 3:55 a.m., just as 58 previous days had begun. Horton turned off his alarm clock, hurriedly donned his shorts and singlet, pulled on his socks that had been washed out the night before, slipped on his running shoes and sought to break the fast with cereal, coffee, and a donut. By the stroke of 5:00 a.m., Horton and the other runners were on the start line, listening for and perhaps even dreading the word "go". In fact, many of the runners likened the start to a funeral; an event they had to attend but didn't have a clue how they could again survive. But the soon vacated start area in the parking lot of an old, fly infested, and unairconditioned gymnasium in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania, was a clear sign that each of the runners, including Horton, had accepted yet another challenge that the race offered. The trials and triumphs of previous days found Dusan Mravlje, a Slovenian "soldier" whose job it was to train and race, to be in first place overall. In second place was Florida's Raymond Bell, who had won the race in 1993. David Horton found himself solidly in third place overall, closing in on a weakening Bell but being chased by Australian Patrick Farmer (also a Trans-Am veteran and second place finisher in '93) and the small but mighty Japanese runner from New York City, Nobuaki Koyago.
The day's stage required that the runners traverse and conquer 47.1 miles within the required time of 15.7 hours. Failure to do so would negate the previously run 2627 miles and would force retirement from the race. There would be no exceptions to the rule. The course, marked by flour arrows at turns, would follow along Route 30 in Pennsylvania. So, the runners ran 100 yards down a gradual slope before turning right at the arrow to begin a three-mile, 14% grade climb. The heaviness of the air due to a torrential downpour during the night made the climb even more formidable. Horton, uncharacteristically running halfway up the incline, was caught by Koyago, Mravlje and Farmer when he finally decided to begin power walking. The Slovenian threw verbal barbs at Koyago, the winner of the previous three stages; "Hey, don't you think the pace is a little slow? This hill is child's play!" Whether the sarcasm had any impact on the Japanese runner is unknown, but the crest of the mountain saw Nobuaki Koyago in the lead, running like a man possessed. He proceeded to build a one-mile lead on the next runner, Patrick Farmer, by mile 14. At day's end, Koyago would cross the finish line with a full three-mile lead. 

Meanwhile, Horton would struggle. Cautiously running down the backside of that first mountain, the professor from Liberty University would be passed for the first time ever by the runner in eighth place overall. The effect of being passed served as a mental cattle prod. Horton gained ground, regained his position and was running steadily. With the humidity remaining high and the temperatures climbing with the rising sun, all ten runners pressed on. Horton did enjoy posing momentarily at mile 30 for a photo with some running friends from his hometown of Lynchburg. But after another half mile of running, Horton took his first five-minute break of the entire race. It was at the 30.5 mile point of this day's stage that intersected the 2144-mile Appalachian Trail.

"Here I stand at the crossroads of life", stated Horton into the video camera. After a brief 30-yard run into the coolness of the forest, this runner returned to the shoulder of Route 30 to record his thoughts on videotape. Although drowned out at times by the roar of the semi-tractor trailers, David began to recall the moment 4 years prior when he passed this exact spot. It was in the spring of 1991 that he found himself standing atop Springer Mountain in Georgia, at the beginning of his AT adventure. In pursuit of the speed record on this south/north continuous trail, he ran day after day in the quietness and solitude that the trail affords. Over mountains, through valleys, across grassy meadows he went. Few were the encounters with the mainstream of humanity. And, little did he realize that when he followed the trail out of the woods, across Rt. 30 and reentered the woods on the other side, that he would have a déjà-vu experience when his west to east Trans-Am race would intersect his route.

Two races. Two challenges. Both grueling but both very different. The first was a race against time in terms of days, the elements, and the roughness of the terrain. The second was a race against time in terms of hours and minutes, against other competitors and the redundancy of thousands of miles of pavement. However, there was a common foundation to the two events. Both were incredibly difficult. Both required conquering the severe bouts of depression that invaded the mind of this endurance athlete. Both required conquering the mentally debilitating and physically crippling injuries associated with running mile after mile, day after day. Both required the mental toughness and fortitude that so few in our society possess. And both require an unquenchable quest for adventure.

Horton did conquer the Appalachian Trail in 1991 and set a speed record yet to be broken. On this particular day in 1995, Horton would continue his Trans-Am run within five minutes of his encounter with the A.T. He would finish in the heat, humidity and peak of the tourist season in Gettysburg, only to prepare himself for the next day of racing. And on the fifth day hence, he would cross the finish line of all finish lines in New York City with the third fastest time ever recorded in the world. 

This is the story of those quests.

223 pages/1997