My Name is Will Bradley and Here's a LIttle Story as to Why I Run

by Will Bradley
(Westminster, MA, USA)

Mike Kiernan and Will Bradley Martha's Vineyard 2008  TWINS

Mike Kiernan and Will Bradley Martha's Vineyard 2008 TWINS

Running Profile: Will Bradley

My name is:

Will Bradley. A few nicknames I have include:
  • Will-da-beast

  • Still Non-Legendary

  • Senator Bradley
I'm from Massachusetts.

Here's How I Started Running:

I've always been a fan of athletics my whole life. I grew up playing soccer, basketball and baseball. As I aged over the years, I realized I just wasn't good enough. I either didn't make the cut, or I was on the JV team. Slowly I stopped playing basketball, I didn't kick the soccer ball as much as I used to, and I stopped putting on my catcher's gear. But every sport I played in had one thing in common: they all involved running. I ran cross country and I came in last a bunch of times!! But I loved the trails; it was fun. Then after high school I kept running and got better. In college, I started dialing in on half marathons. Ran a 1:36.xx and wanted more. Got into marathons and eventually saw a 500 mile race and knew I had to go and try it out.

My Favorite Place to Run is:

I don't have an all-time favorite. One place that feels like home is being out on the trails in Goshen Vermont where The Endurance Society has an event called Infinitus. It's away from civilization, and an opportunity to see how strong you really are. You need to experience it for yourself.

The Most Memorable Race I've Run was:

I have two memorable races I want to share. These races aren't about me or any of my accomplishments; they share two specific moments in my life where someone who doesn't run as much as me showed me how important it is to live and never giving up.

One of my best friends is Mike Kiernan. Back in 2008, Mike wanted to run the Martha's Vineyard 20 miler with me. It was the first time I ran with a friend or anyone; our goals were very clear: We start it, run it and finish it, TOGETHER! I learned a new kind of mental toughness through Mike. I trained for this race, he.... not so much. Within the first hour we we're 8 miles in and I was saying to myself "holy Bad word, we'll be done in under three hours." Then I heard the infamous "WILLLLLLL!" Lactic acid build up, muscle cramps, etc.. We death marched and nearly crawled together for the last 12 miles. The "drop dead you quit" yellow bus occasionally tried to pick us up. Mike wanted me to leave him and finish on my own, but I couldn't leave my best friend - we agreed all or nothing together. I never met someone who could push their body through the pain like he did that day. I'd be 3 steps ahead of him and ask myself 'how is he still moving?' and 'how do I get that tough?' We finished that race in a little over four hours. I constantly reflect on that race and am left speechless.

Another race Mike and I did came on July 03, 2018, Finish at the 50 at Gillette Stadium. This was a 5k, but again, one of the most memorable races. Let me back up and give you some details. Mike had major neck surgery in June 2017, a benign tumor located in his cervical spine region. Surgery was successful, but he had a long recovery. No walking... for like 6 months before any kind of therapy. He said after surgery he wanted to do the Finish at the 50 5k and wanted me to do it with him. No hesitation- YES, I'M THERE! This race wasn't about time. It wasn't about placement, it was a confirmation that Mike's back! To share that time together, to see him struggle but see him persevere and face adversity, to break the self doubt and build confidence.... I'll just never forget that moment. We started it, ran it and finished it TOGETHER!

The Best Race Swag I Ever Got was:

Best swag, nothing beat The Endurance Society swag. I personally love my first generation ES all Latin hat.

My Dream Race is:

Where do I start!
  • Fire & Ice Ultra 250k in Iceland

  • The Berghaus Dragon's Back in Wales

  • 4 Deserts: Namib Race, Gobi March, Atacama Crossing and Antarctica. All in one calendar year

  • Finish the 888

The Best Running Advice I Ever Received was:

TOO MANY!!! SOO MANY. My races are long. Days and multi hundred miles long. You need to stay positive and enjoy the moment. If you're not, don't bother showing up.

My Favorite Sneakers are:

Altra Olympus for trails, Altra Torin 3.5 for roads.

My Favorite Type of Running Workout is:

I love hill workouts. If I need to be on a treadmill, max incline and slowly increase the speed oxygen depletion but not bankruptcy. If you can run a hill, you can run anything.

My Favorite Type of Cross training is:

Leg day at the gym with my trainer Dana is my favorite. When you played 20 or so years of soccer and played catcher for um-teen years, you develop strong legs. I love all leg strength training exercises; squats, single leg dead lifts, leg pressing, calf raises etc.
I don't swim because I can't(?). I do enjoy balance exercises on a bosu ball. Always focus on form and never underestimate balance.

The Advice I'd Give if Someone Asked me How to Start Running is:

Accept the fact that you're not going to be an Olympian right off the bat. You need to establish and build a solid foundation. Get rid of time goals, and don't count the miles if you can get that far right off the bat. It's not so much the hardware the body needs work, rather it's the software mental, emotions, psychological that needs reprogramming. You need to believe in yourself. When I go out on my runs, I don't care what anyone thinks of me. I'm out there wanting to be better than where I was yesterday. How can you believe what someone says about you if you can't believe in yourself? You're going to fail a lot, reach low lows. However, you're going to grow and develop. Embrace the changes that are going to take place.

My Favorite Running Club is:

The Endurance Society is my second family. I've been with them from the beginning. Andy Weinberg is a great friend like no other. I've met people through the Endurance Society where we started out as complete strangers and hours later, we're talking about vacationing together and racing somewhere in the US. You'll never meet a group like The Endurance Society. Everyone has a history, but we're all going through something together. I've seen crews help other runners without hesitation. Everyone wants to help each other. It's really great. And don't even get me started with the food. Them Quesadilla's!!! That cook rocks my socks!

Things That Are Important to me that I Haven't Mentioned Yet:

(Not really going to answer it correctly, but I'll end it with this)
I don't race to compete for first place. It would be nice to "win," but I think I missed that opportunity. When I'm out running, I often think about people who have inspired and motivated me to be better. I won't name names, I know who those people are. I wouldn't be the person I am if it weren't for them. And I don't ever want to take that for granted. Having a solid support group is necessary for any runner. If you think for a second running isn't a team sport you're completely wrong. Yes, you need to put the time and effort in, but that team on the sideline is helping you every step of the way.

Comments for My Name is Will Bradley and Here's a LIttle Story as to Why I Run

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 17, 2019
Woo Hoo!
by: Lisa!

Always such a positive influence and inspiration! Never stop!

Sep 16, 2019
So Awesome!
by: David

Will! This is a fantastic read, and should be required reading for any runner, brand new to it, or seasoned veteran!

Thank you for taking the time to share. Having shared courses from VT to FL with you, we're better runners for it!

And, we're looking forward to the next adventure!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Why I Run.

Related Resources Available On Amazon:

Available on Amazon (affiliate link).

Thanks for reading! Let me know that you loved this article
by clicking the FB "Like" button just below!

Here Are The Best Ways To
Work With Us & To Stay In Touch!

"Hard work is not punishment. Hard work is the price of admission for the opportunity to reach sustained excellence."
~ Jay Bilas